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London Borough Seeks to Drive Out Rogue Landlords

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is to bring in an Article 4 Direction, which would make it compulsory for landlords to apply for planning consent if they wish to convert properties into houses in multiple occupation (HMO).

The local authority believes the change in policy, which removes the permitted development rights for properties to be used as small HMOs with no more than six people, will help drive out poor quality and unsafe rental homes in the London borough.

Cabinet member for community safety and environment, councillor Jackie Smith, said: "The Royal Borough has taken a number of measures over recent years to tackle the problem of sub-standard and often unsafe accommodation, and this latest move strengthens our hand even more".

"Over-crowded and poorly maintained HMOs are not just devastating for the families that have to live there, but it leads to other problems such as overflowing bins and fly-tipping."

The council approved the policy last month and will now go through a consultation period with stakeholders across the borough before the new rules come into force in October next year.

Deputy leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, councillor Danny Thorpe, suggested the decision will help drive up standards and drive out rogue landlords.