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Tower Hamlets Article 4 direction could harm supply-RLA

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

Landlords who want to convert family homes in Tower Hamlets into small HMOs will need to submit planning applications to do so under new plans revealed by the city council.

The local authority plans to introduce a borough-wide Article 4 Direction, removing ‘permitted development rights’ for small HMOs, so that planning permission must be obtained before development can take place.

A public consultation on the plans was held by the Council, and in the RLA’s response to the plan, which you can read here, the association has warned that implementing an Article 4 direction in the borough could have a direct impact of supply and lead to rent increases.

Why does the Council want to introduce the new rules?

An Article 4 Direction removes current permitted development rights and landlords would be required to obtain planning permission if they want to turn family homes into small houses of multiple occupation.

Tower Hamlets Council says that it wants to introduce an Article 4 direction in the borough to enable the Council to use its planning powers to manage the future development of small scale HMOs and for local people to have their say on individual planning applications.

The RLA’s response to the consultation

It its formal response to this consultation, the RLAs has warned that particular sections of the community of Tower Hamlets need HMO accommodation, so restricting the number of small HMOs in the borough could harm supply.

In addition to this, the Council should make use of the powers it already has to tackle issues like anti-social behaviour and inadequate waste storage, rather than restricting the creation of new HMOs.

What happens now?

The consultation on the plans has now closed, and a message on the Council’s website says the Mayor will consider the comments that are received during a Cabinet meeting which will take place later this year in December. If the Article 4 direction is confirmed, it will come into force on 1st January 2021.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

1 Comment

  • I’m a Tower Hamlets landlord. I rented out one of my properties to a great pair of girls who had just graduated together. After a couple of years, one of them got a boyfriend (later married – I went to the wedding) and he moved in. Under the new proposals, I would have been forced to evicted the girls at that point as they were breaking the planning for the flat. Does that sound like a good idea? Not to me….

    I’ve since sold the flat as regulation is just becoming a nightmare.

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