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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

There is a new planning application for an HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) in Roseberry Gardens, deadline for comments to Haringey council is 13/01/20. Application is for 6 separate units in a former family home with no provision for parking or additional rubbish created, amongst other details

http://www.planningservices.haringey.gov.uk/portal/servlets/Applica...

HGY/2019/3218

*19 Roseberry Gardens N4 1JQ*

Type of Application: FULL PLANNING PERMISSION

Proposal: Change of use from Residential (C3) to small HMO (C4) for up
to 6 people

Tags for Forum Posts: HMO, Planning

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One hundred percent right there are always landlords who flout those rules and yes, I do play play the book, but on the other hand there are also many unscrupulous tenants also who take a room as a single person and then move in more or sub-let without the landlords knowledge. Many landlords and agents are quite complacent once the key is done and don’t really visit so these things get missed. On a more annoying side when these things happen they deserve to be reported but haringey doesn’t enforce!!!

as for rubbish there will always be an exception but in general in a well managed property let as it’s meant to be my point is very valid, trust me I have nearly 20 years experience in the property in the area and without advertising myself my property inspection company offers HMO services to landlords and agents so I do visit many.

This is a thoughtful and sensible post with several well-made points. The truth is that putting aside the increasing unaffordability of properties like this (whether to rent or buy) for many families in inner(ish)-London areas like Haringey, housing needs have changed along with demographics. People get married later for all kinds of reasons, we have far more young Europeans who move here for work, and of course divorce rates are higher. That all means more single people, many with limited resources, who need somewhere to live. HMOs are the only affordable answer for them. Indeed in many cases living in an HMO for a couple of years is an active choice as it can be a sociable way of living. Yes they probably won't stay as long and establish the same kind of local community roots as families but nor should that make them unwelcome residents. HMO landlords have to comply with way more regulations than owner-occupiers or social landlords and they should not be pilloried. As Esat says, there may be specific valid reasons to object to a particular planning application but I'm not convinced there is justification for a general planning policy against well-run HMOs in areas of suitable housing with strong demand from generally younger single people.

A thoughtful response on a topic that clearly matters to you.

I don't entirely agree with the logic that HMOs somehow serve some greater societal purpose by offering 'affordable' living. These are privately let properties, where the rents are entirely determined by the landlord so, on a per square foot basis this is only as affordable as the landlord and therefore the market decides it to be. And don't even get me started on the standards of living in these places. 

Another point of contention is the fact in the Ladder and Gardens roads, most housing stock is character Victorian property that gets irreversibly gutted and defaced in the interest of maximum occupancy. I have witnessed a number of houses externally rendered (which is proven to be highly detrimental to older, exposed brick properties) and fitted with hideous PVC windows in the process of multi occupancy conversion.

Related to this, is the fact that owner-occupiers are more likely to take care and maintain a property than landlords/tennants. Not always the case but by and large true, so the more housing stock gets converted to private rentals - especially of the HMO kind, the more likely we are to compound the deterioration and wear and tear to the housing stock.

Lastly, as someone with a family, living in our borough, I would like to see more individuals put down roots, thus preserving the fabric and community of the neighbourhood, instead of short term tenancies that generate people turnover and rubbish which I believe wholely makes up for whatever fictional economies in waste generated by bedsit tenancies.

The objections you faced, and those faced by this proposal are largely raised by individuals who have the long-term interest of the borough in mind. They are entirely healthy and should be welcomed as they will make for better living conditions which will attract longer-term and higher rental yields, for private landlords like yourself. 

To that end, I would be quite interested in your views if you were the neighbouring, or a nearby property with a young family, a sizeable mortgage and the ambition to stay here for the long run. Would you support or object to this development?

kotkas, I've seen firsthand how a perfectly good home was ruined for max profit and little care of the tenants - next door. Also agree on an ever changing tenant base, people save up to move into a less crowded house - old mattresses and beds in the front garden every 6 months.  groups of tenants in the front garden smoking and chatting as they have to live in a rabbit hutch.   As mentioned, if you live next to or across the road or surrounded by them - it's not so great.  

Agreed, but the fact they get so many in and have a turnover of tenants does prove a need, maybe they need to be policed better but this is a case to be brought to Haringey or Parliament in general not to be held against a single application.

Rents are of course determined by a landlord or agent, but the fact is a room or share in a HMO is around £400 per month and I’m sure some for more and a self contained studio flat starts at around £900 per month so there is a factual affordability within HMOs.

The properties are held to higher standards over privately let and I am someone who provides services to acheive these standards so know so first hand, but I have seen worse properties that do not meet HMO as they simply are not policed in the same manner so this doesn’t really stand.

The diminishing of the character of these properties is something I am also not a fan of but there are many things causing this and not only HMO or let properties but owner occupiers do this also. The point is this area of Harringay is not a conservation zone and we should not have powers to affect planning applications on this basis until we do.

owner occupiers in large are more likely to care but those who can afford what is now very nearly and in some case much more than half a million to million plus pound housing are far and few between.

The waste has already been addressed and most agreed with my points and the rest of your last point picks up on the rent and house prices again and is just an unfortunate thing of our times.

I agree those raising objections have somewhat of an interest in the borough but the objections are factually unfounded and they are completely out of touch with current times and values etc, it would be great if we could all live in a borough made up of our ideal neighbours who where all exactly the same but that simply doesn’t happen within inner London 

Esat, the reason HMOs are regulated is precisely due to their profoundly detrimental impact on communities across the country. Don’t just take it from me. As a practitioner you will know that Various government papers, built on extensive primary research substantiate all the concerns raised here, and culminated in the act that calls for tighter regulation.

The point you make about rubbish is frankly - rubbish. On what planet does a house occupied by at least 7 individuals generate less rubbish than a family of lets say 4? It’s basic math, unless you are assuming shared consumption - maybe they reuse their toilet tissue?? 

I have to take issue with the derisive tone you take when characterising individuals with quite legitimate concerns as ones in pursuit of some utopia, as well as conflating your own opinion with fact.

Kotkas, you’ve proven now very blatantly that you do not know a thing about HMOs or why they are more tightly regulated and as a practitioner as you put it I will enlighten you; yes there have been studies on the impact they have on the area and resources but this has nothing to do with tighter regulations as all the regulations are based on health and safety, fire safety and living standards alone not one regulation or criteria outside of this.

Secondly you not only make completely invalid points but you also don’t read before you jump in and don’t know how to make a point valid by what I like to phrase as comparing apple’s with apple’s, when I compared the waste generated I kept it on a like for like basis of a HMO with 6 occupants versus a similar home let as a single household to the same number or owner occupied with the same number of occupant. Of course 7 people will generate more rubbish than say 4 as you put it, that’s just simple maths as you said but seem to be struggling with the math. So that point of yours is not even worth noting on said shared used toilet tissue.

I do not have a derisive time at all, the fact is those in objection don’t have a point, don’t know how to make one and try to by praying on shared fears in the neighbourhood by casting a shadow on all HMOs.

I have not shared any opinion at all and have made factual comments only. The comments you make are generalised opinions not fact based. This thread is starting to sound like brexit. What a country we have become.

Hi Esat

do you live next to a HMO or opposite one or are there 3/4 within 50 metres of your home?  I'm not sure I'll get an answer, but I have to ask as you are ready to defend HMOs, in which case is it a case of "do as I say, not as I do".  The Landlord who owns the property next door told me personally that he had £3millin of credit and 50 properties, that was 13 years ago.  The state of the house is 10 times worse and he lives in a nice suburb of Southgate and turns up in a new 4x4 every year.  He doesn't give a hoots about the area , just his money.  You might think he's in the minority but I completely disagree.  Looking at the state of the rented houses in Harringay it's my opinion that most landlords don't.  Ah the old Brexit gets thrown in for good measure.  That is not going to persuade anyone that you are right.  I'm second generation Indian so do your best

Cheers Glen

Hi Mavic, I don’t live in one but do own one, although my HMO is not the same format meaning mine is not let on a room by room basis and is let as a single home but due to the high rental cost we have never had a family enquire or view although we would much prefer this. So as we need to be open to taking young professional sharers we had to meet HMO standards and gain a licence. My house is a four bed let you four and I have gone to great expense in refurbishing the property to high standards to provide quality accommodation and we take great care in maintaining the property, we also are in good contact with our old neighbours and always stop and have a chat with them when we visit the property and they have our number and we always encourage them to contact us if the tenants become a nuisance or cause any issues at all.

I know not all landlords are like me but not all are like you explain, and picking at where the landlord is fortunate enough to live or what they drive or how many properties they own isn’t a fair way to look at things and is going of on a tangent.

My property let in Harringay is my only property and was our family home as I explained earlier in the thread, we let it not to loose it when we moved to upsize as the family grew, we make no profit on the let are all but I work hard and drive a 4x4 and live in Southgate. So it’s nice to see what people’s assumptions lead them to think.

Im by no means like the landlord you explain and I know they exist and many have HMOs but the point I’m trying to make is that not all are the same and blocking an application based on such fears and making non factual, irrelevant arguments and calling upon those to who share such fears is unfair.

You are right - HMO's aren't my area of expertise. Far from it. Yet I can read, as can anyone with an internet connection and 5 minutes. You should try it.

The widened scope of HMO licensing enacted last year, is a direct consequence of the studies that the government conducted dating back to 2008. These studies cite all the issues that we bring up here on this forum. You can see a summary on page 6 of this report:

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120919230509/http://ww...

The widened scope of the regulation gives local authorities the powers to curb HMOs for the above stated reasons. The whole point is that it minimises the proliferation of HMOs by shorter licensing cycles and compliance guidelines that will make an HMO operator to think twice. It doesn't take a practitioner to understand the incentive mechanism here. 

I am also happy to see that you agree with the basic math which proves that the rubbish generated by an HMO exceeds that of a single family home. As you mention - on a 'like for like' basis there would be no difference if you house the same number of individuals at an address.

Therefore, in net terms HMOs generate more rubbish than a single household by virtue of the fact that they house more people in a single address. But I could be wrong. You state that my math is not that great - which must therefore be a fact, and HMOs may actually house less- rather than more individuals... so many facts...

I dont agree at all, you started by saying the regulations and tighter regulations on HMOs are due to the issues being discussed, you now say something different... stick to one arguement.

secondly I compared the rubbish from a HMO of 6 tenants to a home with a family of 6 and said the waste generated would be about the same, however you compared a HMO of 7 to a household of 4.

this is the problem with those who have no knowledge using the internet for 5 minutes and thinking they have gained enough in that time to make a comment.

you haven’t even read what I’ve said and comprehended it and are now making other comments, my point is a HMO with the same number of residents will generate the same waste your point is that it would generate more, now your comparing to a higher number of residents?! 

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