Listened to David Youngs talking last night on the Council's plans for story Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO's) in the borough, and they are going to go out to consultation on this. David has held various roles in Housing and is the
Listened to David Youngs talking last night on the Council’s plans for story Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO's) in the borough. David has held various roles in Housing and is the well-respected Principal Environmental Housing Surveyor (HMO's) at London Borough of Hillingdon.
Minimal Mandatory Licensing of HMO's in Hillingdon
David said that there are very few mandatory three storey Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO's) in Hillingdon. Only around 212 of them, which is a small figure given we have Brunel University and Heathrow to the South of the borough with the accommodation needed there, but as mandatory licensing of HMO's applies only to three or more storey buildings, which aside from the odd town houses there is less stock of this type in the borough. We are mostly a two storey area, with three storeys being a more popular and relevant class of property closer to the centre of London.
Hillingdon Additional HMO Licensing
So in Hillingdon two storey HMO’s come under additional licensing, which the council ask for where there is a HMO for five or more people in a two storey property in the south of the borough. LB Hillingdon estimate there are circa 2,500 HMO’s in the Borough (licensed and unlicensed). Although the council don’t reach all they want do. The HMO’s they especially want to get to and control are the illegal ones which might be dangerous such as the beds in sheds, which they'd love to shut down!
HMO's in the North of the Borough
I wondered about HMO’s in the North of the borough, above the A40 (Ruislip, Ickenham and Northwood). David reported the number of HMO’s had dropped from 186 to 139. So they are going down rather than up! This came as a surprise in this time of rising housing costs. As rents increase I would expect to see more HMO’s fill the gap to house young professionals at the entry price level for housing.
How is Article 4 Direction Working
LBH felt the Article 4 Direction which requires planning permission for new HMO’s in Uxbridge South and Brunel wards is working, but they are seeing more HMO’s in West Drayton and closer to Heathrow.
So the plan for HMO management in Hillingdon seems to the same again for the next five years – subject to the consultation which will last around ten weeks.
The only downside was a doubling of HMO application and renewal fees, so an increase from £480 to £980 for a new HMO application after 1st April 2015. So do it quickly if you are thinking about an HMO application!
If you want to discuss how this might impact on a property you own or are thinking of buying in the borough or want to talk over the issues feel free to get in touch.