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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



*19 Roseberry Gardens N4 1JQ*


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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Kotkas, as a pest controller fortunate enough to undertaking regular call-outs in Harringay I often see the tail end to many comments on this HMO thread.

Several times most weeks mainly on the ladder I attend rodent concerns from landlords more often than not due to inappropriate waste management, poor food storage issues or all sorts of rubbish being discarded through waste disposal units better known as toilets

Esat comes across as a respected and knowledgeable landlord but I have to disagree with him on  the waste generated issue. An integrated family of four or six will usually all share a meal derived from the same packaging (one or two large pizzas for example). However, when did four or six individuals living in separate rooms all share a meal on the same basis? From experience I can tell you it just doesn't happen. The waste generated by HMO's is always far higher. I see it every week!

Earlier this week in Harringay I attended a first floor flat HMO occupied by six male tenants one of which was sleeping within an open plan kitchen. Try treating that for bedbugs when most COSHH assessed  insecticide products will not allow application on or near food prep areas! Most of the kitchen units were being used as wardrobes but unfortunately from a COSHH perspective it was still a kitchen!

I would be ashamed to write a book on my very sad  HMO call-out experiences. I think I'll leave it at that!

I've lived next door to an HMO: two flats with four tenants in our building, eight flats with between eight and sixteen tenants next door (it fluctuated). They had two bins, the same as us. It was not uncommon for there to be a couple, a parent and child or on one occasion a couple with a baby in a studio room. Which would be an unusual level of occupancy in a six bed house rented to sharers or a family, so you've drawn a bit of a false equivalent there. The tiny amount of personal space meant a) no food storage or food prep space, so lots of takeaways and heavily packaged convenience food - i.e. more rubbish per person not less, b) no bin space in each flat, which mean that rubbish went into carrier bags (no sorting for recycling) and straight out to the bins. Less space efficiency from lots of small bags meant the bins filled up fast, and once bags built up around the bin they were easy for rodents and foxes to access and spread the contents around. Once it was a mess, no-one wanted to clean it up because there were at least 7 other people to blame for it. So the mess just built up and got more revolting. The lack of recycling meant that one bin was quickly out of commission because any old rubbish went into it, then it sat there full with a warning tag on it. We complained, and the landlord was forced to build a proper bin area, which reduced the problem a bit. But fundamentally, wedging vulnerable people into tiny spaces does nothing to encourage any sense of self worth or a wish to keep your living area nice, so it was still a mess, just a mess that got reduced more often. If you've split your house into a couple of decent flats, and make a bit of cash from it while treating your tenants well, then good for you. This HMO is an exercise in squeezing income from people who don't have the privilege of complaining. 

This sounds like a very over crowded property to be honest and would lead to such issues, especially as it sounds like it’s poorly planned, maintained and managed. I wonder whether it even had a licence for the number of occupants that it is housing? If you manage your property well and stick to the licensed occupancy numbers these problems should not occur. Sounds again like a unprofessional and careless landlord and lack of complaint and or enforcement. These are not problems the HMO format if done correctly is inherent with especially with the introduction of HHSRS.

thanks for posting this. I shall object as I only have negative experience. increased rubbish, people lingering on the street as they are expected to live in one room that is like a rabbit hutch. 

Again, I’ve already proven factually that rubbish increase is not something that comes hand in hand with a HMO and there are always exceptions. Lingering and loitering happens at many different types of housing and again is not something a HMO that is well run brings and is not caused by one unless the tenants are smokers in which case they do have back gardens and as for living in one room rabbit hutches  o one forces them to, I think you have all forgotten how this works. You work and earn a wage, you then have a budget and seek accommodation that fits within it, no one forces accommodation upon you.

Please note that this application contradicts the objectives of Haringey’s Housing Strategy 2017-2022, which states that the Council will protect family sized homes in the borough (page 16). The document states the Council can protect the remaining existing stock of family houses within these areas by restricting further residential conversions in areas of the Borough identified as already having a high concentration of converted properties.
The Gardens is just such an area.

Please also note that just because you know a few conversions doesn’t mean there is a high concentration, the figures and percentages dictate that which is something I believe neither you or I have, and any application will be considered by Haringey in Lomé with their Housing Strategy Plan and therefor does not need the rallying of the public at large who share the same sentiment to oppose the plan based on non factual fears just because they don’t see it fitting within their utopian view of the borough. This is the simple point I am trying to make.

Yeah you're right Esat. I think that some people allow a limited bad experience of HMOs to cloud their view of all such properties / tenants, which is a shame and quite unnecessary (especially when many of them might have lived in HMOs, or houseshares, themselves previously).

I find some of the remarks about HMOs being less invested in the community at large (than owner occupiers) particularly curious. Even if they don't live in the same property forever, tenants often live, and work, and eat, and drink, and pray, and raise kids etc etc in the same part of town (in my case, Haringey) for years if not decades. Even if they don't have such a vested interest in property maintenance, or property values rising, and may sometimes measure the notion of community by slightly different metrics, the idea that they don't care for their area, or are less worried about things like crime, or schools, or litter, or parks,etc etc in the day-to-day sense saddens me. Or maybe I'm just being touchy.

Not touchy at all, in fact spot on and you’ve managed to word things I’ve not managed to include or include with such a point. 

Come down to my road and have a look yourself, or better still ill post some photos.  Best Glen

Mavic, your missing the point and to save you taking and posting pictures, it’s not we don’t believe this happens because I know it does, the point is blocking another application because of an unrelated properties poor management is not right.

If it’s so bad I would contact Haringey and report the property or properties, better still try approaching the landlord if you know them, I find a polite and direct conversation has the right effect over going to the council first.

But what would that prove Glen? I could just as easily take photos of the nightmare family  that i used to live next to on Arnold road, with their stinking car, and nappies overflowing out the bin,  and screaming rows,  and refusal to deal with the gutter that was leaking onto our flat roof, and on and on....

... or i could acknowledge that not all owner occupiers are as bad as the worst of them, and the same goes for hmo tenants and landlords,  and that we have all chosen to live in a big busy city so we might as well make the best of it by showing some goodwill and tolerance.



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