Council – Do as I say not as I do?

by Readers Question

13:47 PM, 30th September 2019
About 4 months ago

Council – Do as I say not as I do?

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Council – Do as I say not as I do?

I have become involved in an argument with Richmond Upon Thames council over plans by a homeless peoples charity to convert a local hotel/motel into a housing project. The local residents are shocked that the council has waived local planning guidelines on size of units, parking provision and communal space.

The scheme will see tenants put into hotel rooms of approximately 16m2 compared with the now national minimum standard 37m2 for a single bed unit.

There is no communal space for cooking, no laundry facilities, no warden and no outdoor space for recreation other than a car park at the front of the property.

Each tenant will have a separate lease running for up to two years. I would welcome comments from landlords on whether such a scheme would be legal in the private rental sector or is this an example of the council saying ‘Do as I say not as I do?’

Chris



Comments

James Barnes

14:34 PM, 30th September 2019
About 4 months ago

My guess would be that this proposal would be classed as Temporary or Emergency Accommodation. Not ideal for the reasons you've set out above but certainly better than the prospect of rough sleeping.
I think this only becomes problematic if these units become permanent accommodation but I doubt that'd be the case.

WP

15:52 PM, 30th September 2019
About 4 months ago

Yep agree - probably only for Temp or Em accommodation...but we all know how that ends up don't we!
Yep if in the PRS it would be a complete non starter. If as as a private LL wanted to convert ANYTHING into living space that small it would be thrown out by planners - a min size would apply even if I suggested it would be for Temp or Em housing myself. A TOTAL case of do what I say not as I do.
Let's see how long tenants last living in these boxes, and how 'cost effective' this really is long term. (hint - it isn't).
Nothing new in this LA - just look at the other London one (Ealing? I forget..) who used shipping containers. People have been living in them far longer than that LA promised. Shameful! And they call PR LL's evil????

2B49

10:04 AM, 1st October 2019
About 4 months ago

Does this Council have a licencing scheme for Private Landlords renting HMO`s in this area if so look at the Licencing Conditions for single rooms and you may get a shock

Sam Addison

10:45 AM, 1st October 2019
About 4 months ago

Personally I think 37 Sq.M is unnecessarily large as a minimum. As a student in the 70s I rented bedsits (in London) which were probably less than 16 Sq.M including cooking facilities (Baby Belling) and bathroom/toilet shared among a dozen of us. It may not be a level playing field but I am happy that rough sleepers can get off the streets at night.

terry sullivan

11:35 AM, 1st October 2019
About 4 months ago

37 square meters is massive? are these figures right--no room in my home is anywhere near that big

some apartments are only slightly bigger

Turhan Mustafa

12:14 PM, 1st October 2019
About 4 months ago

Last time I looked at minimum room standards with HMO dwellings was approximately 10 yrs ago unless some unrealistic revision made this would be around 10m2 ?

Turhan Mustafa

moneymanager

12:32 PM, 1st October 2019
About 4 months ago

An English Cities Partnership development near me has 40 sqm one beds at £1000 a month, not Ron Thames but virtually a NW city centre. What this highlights isn't so much the planning disparity as that the UK, as much of Europe, is prepared to traduce the standards of life owing to a mismanagement of demand, warehousing homeless people is one thing, contiuning to follow policies that have brought us is quite another.

2B49

12:39 PM, 1st October 2019
About 4 months ago

Assuming this Hotel development has communal facilities ie lounge areas then a single room size in a HMO could be as little as 6.51msq a massive difference here

Wyn Burgess

7:54 AM, 5th October 2019
About 4 months ago

37m² is correct as the size of a 1 person flat, I agree it is daft. I recently made an application for slightly larger 1 person unit in a traditonal 4 storey house in E2 only to be refused by Tower Hamlets because the interal layout was deemed unsuitable (it was the original two large receptions and bathroom in the rear addition), no cycle or refuse storage was noted on the drawings despite the house having a large front garden and my failure to show the flat had exteral amenity space (balcony and/or garden) despite me showing the new flat had steps down to a fenced off area of the rear garden. I think planning departments operate on another planet when it comes to meeting peoples housing needs.

Be a Landlord

15:05 PM, 5th October 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by 2B49 at 01/10/2019 - 12:39
As stated at the beginning, there is no communal space at all. Each unit is a room with a bed and a bathroom. If it did have communal space I think the space would be OK but this is what we are arguing about with the council.

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