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We're clamping down on unsafe flat conversions

We have approved new measures that will prevent residential homes in the south of Lewisham from being converted into cramped and unsafe flats.

From 7 March 2020, a landlord or property developer will have to secure planning permission if they want to convert a small home into multiple flats in Bellingham, Downham, Grove Park or Whitefoot. This will be done by introducing an Article 4 Direction to remove ‘permitted development’ rights for converting homes into small houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in those wards.

The new rules will allow us to better manage the number, impact and standard of new HMOs in Lewisham’s southern wards, which have seen a significant increase in these type of conversions. It also means local residents will have a greater say on individual planning applications.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, recently visited two HMOs in Lewisham to speak with tenants and landlords and see first-hand the impact that poor quality HMOs have on tenants.

Damien said: ‘“Unscrupulous landlords are taking advantage of vulnerable residents by buying up homes and converting them into multiple micro-units. Everyone deserves a decent and secure place to live, so it is vital we take steps to prevent small homes from being converted into cramped, expensive and potentially dangerous flats.’

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