Landlord in Hayes ordered to stop using storage building as ‘cramped’ living space

Station Road in Hayes | Hillingdon Today

A planning inspector has ordered a landlord in Hayes to comply with enforcement notices issued by Hillingdon Council, after being found to be illegally renting two properties.

The enforcement notices were served in October 2020 on a property on Station Road in Hayes after council investigators found breaches of planning law.

At one of the properties, a small house of multiple occupancy (HMO) status had been given to the property to house six residents, but seven bedrooms were found, rendering it a ‘large HMO’. At the second property, a detached storage building at the rear of the HMO, the property had been converted so that the first floor was residential premises housing eight bedrooms.

The landlord appealed the notices, but his appeals were dismissed last week (15 October), with some amended conditions, by an independent planning inspector.

The council received reports in June 2020 of bedding and kitchen equipment being moved into one of the properties. Initially, the landlord refused to let the council’s team into the property when they visited for an inspection.

However, when the London Fire Brigade were called to a fire at the site later that month, they found eight bedrooms, a kitchen and two bathrooms on the upper floor and issued a notice banning it from being used as residential property.

Hillingdon Council inspectors will visit the site again at the end of the notice period to ensure compliance.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said: “This is a brilliant result and reflects the undaunted efforts of our planning investigators.

“Private renters in Hillingdon should rightfully expect to be housed in comfortable and safe accommodation. So we will always take the necessary action where landlords are flouting the rules, particularly if their actions could be putting lives at risk.

“The London Fire Service clearly felt that 15b Station Road should never have been used as living accommodation and the planning inspector backed this up, stating that the floor space of each room, at around just six square metres, would not allow a comfortable standard of living – particularly with no outdoor amenity space.

“I would encourage anyone who suspects a property of being used illegally, to let our planning enforcement team know so they can investigate.”