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Consultation on greater control of Bexley’s HMOs to begin this week

15:43 21 September 2016

Terraced houses (generic). Picture: Getty/Matt Cardy

Terraced houses (generic). Picture: Getty/Matt Cardy

2008 Getty Images

The council is considering introducing a new directive

Locals with fears over the concerns over the borough’s growing number of HMOs will be able to answer a new consultation from the council this week.

Bexley council is launching a borough-wide consultation on the possible introduction of a ‘non-immediate Article 4 Direction’.

The directive would allow for the council to monitor the number of HMOs, and would give it the power to grant or refuse permission of their development.

It would not come into force until September next year.

Leader at Bexley council, Teresa O’Neill, said: “The introduction of an Article 4 Direction isn’t something we are considering lightly.

“Many other local authorities have already taken this route in their boroughs to make sure smaller HMOs meet set requirements and our reason for doing so is to protect tenants, landlords and the local community.”

The Tory councillor was added that HMOs are generally well-run in the borough, despite fears from residents.

“We know that the majority of HMOs are legal, well run and above board, but there are some that may put health and safety at risk or may be in a totally unsuitable area without the necessary infrastructure.

“If introduced, the direction will help us to control and monitor new HMOs, refusing permission where appropriate.”

The consultation will run from September 23 to November 4.

It will be available at www.bexley.gov.uk/consultation

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