Published: Tuesday, 26th September 2017

The change affects landlords converting homes into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

The landmark change in planning rules was approved by the Royal Borough of Greenwich's Cabinet on 13 September.

Article 4 Direction

The change, an Article 4 Direction, removes the permitted development rights for properties to be used as small HMOs with no more than six people.

It means landlords will have to apply for planning permission if they want to convert their homes into HMO's to rent out on the market.

It is part of a continued drive by the Council to improve standards in the rental sector and ensure that more tenants have well managed, safe and properly maintained homes.

Following member agreement, the Council will undertake a consultation with stakeholders across the Borough before the change becomes law in 12 months' time.

The move follows a decision by councillors in April to extend licensing to all HMOs in the borough which comes into force on 1 October.

View the Cabinet report and decision

'Drive up standards and drive out rogue landlords'

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, said "The Council is committed to providing safe and secure accommodation for everyone in the borough. This latest decision will help us drive up standards, and drive out rogue landlords."

'Number of measures to tackle the problem'

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment, said "The Royal Borough has taken a number of measures over recent years to tackle the problem of sub-standard and often unsafe accommodation, and this latest move strengthens our hand even more.

"Over-crowded and poorly maintained HMOs are not just devastating for the families that have to live there, it leads to other problems such as overflowing bins and fly-tipping."