The Tory Housing Minister has decided to scrap the need to apply for planning permission to convert a home to a house in multiple occupation (HMO). This means that Reading landlords no longer need to apply to the Council to convert houses where the property is occupied by less than six unrelated individuals who share one or more basic amenities (and vice versa).
The Government is saying that Councils can impose their own controls locally, Reading is still ‘awaiting further advice from central Government’ about how to do this! The Coalition has opened up a great big yawning gap in controls through which dodgy landlords will be rushing to establish new HMO’s without any need to consult or even inform neighbours.
Many people, in East Reading in particular, live in streets where house after house has been made into an HMO, many of them poorly managed and poorly maintained. We want to make sure that any conversions are of a decent standard with proper fire safety precautions.