BBC1 Panorama – Cashing in on the Housing Crisis

BBC1 Panorama – Cashing in on the Housing Crisis

8:50 AM, 29th January 2020, About 2 years ago 8

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Monday 3rd February at 20:30 BBC1 Panorama is broadcasting an episode titled ‘Cashing in on the Housing Crisis.’

For the landlords interested in the Government and Councils slating us for maybe a bedroom 2cm too small, yet the program below will probably show Councils putting families in old office blocks converted  for temporary accommodation. Some don’t even have windows.

The programme summary says:

“Panorama meets some of the growing number of people living in temporary accommodation. With a shortage of council-owned properties, and a desire to keep people, especially young families, out of bed and breakfasts, local authorities are increasingly turning to the private sector for help. In 2013, a change in planning laws meant companies could buy up and convert old office blocks into homes without planning permission. Reporter Callum Tully explores life for residents living in these converted spaces.”


Arnie Newington

8:58 AM, 29th January 2020, About 2 years ago

"Cashing in on the housing crisis" would be a good name for a programme about Shelter.

Old Mrs Landlord

9:19 AM, 29th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Please correct the headline and later reference to "Panorma"!

Ian Narbeth View Profile

10:57 AM, 29th January 2020, About 2 years ago

I have not converted offices to flats. I have seen news stories about under-sized and under-specified flats. There is much that could be said but I make two points:
1. If flats are under-sized and under-specified that is a failure of legislators. Given the system of constraints for HMOs it would not have been hard to require certain minimum room sizes and levels of amenity. Don't blame landlords for building what is lawful;
2. If these new flats (albeit some are not that great) did not exist, where would their occupiers now live?

Robert Mellors View Profile

13:05 PM, 29th January 2020, About 2 years ago

What is wrong with converting a building into flats? Buildings designed for one use can be converted into another use, this has gone on for millennia. So if it's not the change of use that is the issue (which must have been approved by the Council anyway), then it can only be the specification of the flats themselves (as stated by Ian Narbeth, above). Surely there are size and amenity requirements for flats stated in law?

Chris @ Possession Friend

23:26 PM, 29th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 29/01/2020 - 13:05
Agreed Robert, so long as its not one of a few greedy landlords that design - cram as many 'shoe-box' units of accommodation into the converted building.

Old Mrs Landlord

0:44 AM, 30th January 2020, About 2 years ago


Mick Roberts

8:43 AM, 1st February 2020, About 2 years ago

Some landlords have said & I think on here, we may be better going into this & emergency accommodation as the councils come begging to us then, after having crucified the Private Landlord & taxed & charged & reg'd him to oblivion.

For years, at the plead of the tenant, I've converted a 2 into a 3 bed, small 3rd bedroom, can get a single bed & wardrobe in. Now they may be legally too small, but the tenant who 20 years later now has 4 kids, wants this small 3rd bedroom. But we at risk of having to remove it or change it all at the demands of the council & minimum room sizes.

That's it Ian, where would they live?


11:57 AM, 3rd February 2020, About 2 years ago

We converted a block about 6 years ago and the flat on the ground floor was a bedsit. Chap moved in and loved it. Small space just perfect for him, cheap bills etc. Next guy moved it, we thought the same, turned i into a drug den. We found out, evicted him and the place was trashed. Dilema. Do we do up completely? Looked into it and turns out bedsit is now classified as too small to be rented under local council regs (changed since we converted them originally). Went back and forth with council and VOA to get it classed as 'uninhabitable; but VOA said no it would be still classed as a dwelling. If I can't rent it then CT payable by me. Decided to demolish it. Now we are not paying CT as not a dwelling anymore. All for the sake of literally a few inches and there is another property OFF the housing list that someone would have loved totally because it was small enough to cater for their needs. Ridiculous!

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