Changes for potential HMOs to need planning permission comes into force

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 July 2016

Havering Town Hall in Romford

Havering Town Hall in Romford


Concerned residents believe changes to planning requirements for HMOs – which came into force this week – will make a big difference.

Planning permission will now be required in four wards in the borough to change the use of a property to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) – Brooklands, Gooshays, Heaton and Romford Town.

For the rest of Havering, planning permission will be required to change any home or flat except a detached house to an HMO.

Chris Cooper, 33, who administrates the Harold Hill Community Facebook page, told the Recorder he is happy with the outcome, a day “people in Harold Hill have been waiting for”.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.

“We fought for the Article 4 to go ahead because there are so many HMOs in the area and it’s good to see that it’s finally going to be implemented.

“Not all HMOs are bad and some people living in them did want this as it does protect them as tenants from dodgy landlords.

“Everybody has got to live somewhere but it needs to be through the proper channels.

“I am pleased, I do think it will make a big difference.”

An HMO is defined as a house where between three and six unrelated tenants live, sharing one or more basic amenity, such as a kitchen or bathroom.

The Article 4 Directions, created in July last year, were brought in as a response to concerns over the number of small houses being converted into cramped living accommodation, with a negative impact on neighbouring residents.

Cllr Osman Dervish, Havering Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “This is the right move for us in Havering as we can now monitor HMOs throughout the borough.

“This change will ensure that HMOs are of the decent standard that our residents deserve and [will] improve living arrangements.”

For further information on the Article 4 Directions and their impact, visit the council’s website at

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