London Borough of Haringey

The London Borough of Haringey is in North London covering an area of 11 square miles. It is bordered by the boroughs of Barnet to the west, Enfield to the north, Waltham Forest to the east and Camden, Islington and Hackney to the south. According to the 2011 Census, about 31% (1 in 3) of the housing stock was privately rented which is higher than the London average of 25% (1 in 4).

Do I need a licence to rent out my property?

You do not need a licence if you rent your property to a single family as Haringey Council do not operate a selective licensing scheme. However, if you rent out a flat in a converted building, you should also check the additional licensing scheme below as some buildings containing flats do need to be licensed.

If you rent out your property as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) the answer is more complicated. Haringey Council operate an additional licensing scheme plus the mandatory HMO licensing scheme that applies throughout England and Wales. 

To help you decide if you need a licence we’ve outlined the two HMO licensing schemes below:

1. Mandatory HMO licensing

You will need an HMO licence if your property:

  • Is three or more storeys high (a storey includes a basement, loft conversion and any storey comprising business premises); and
  • Contains five or more people in two or more households; and
  • Contains shared facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.  

Following a recent government announcement, the mandatory HMO licensing criteria look set to change in 2017 bringing thousands more properties within the scope of licensing. It is important to keep up to date as these changes could impact on you. You can sign up to our free newsletter for all the latest news.   

2. Additional licensing (Tottenham Area)

This additional licensing scheme came into force on 1 May 2014 and will end on 31 April 2019 unless the Council chose to implement a replacement scheme.

It applies to all HMOs in the wards of Bruce Grove, Northumberland Park, Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale and Tottenham Green. A map showing the five wards is available on the Council's website

The Council have included ‘section 257 HMOs: certain converted blocks of flats’ in the scheme. These are properties that:

  • have been converted into self-contained flats; and
  • the conversion did not comply with the relevant Building Regulations in force at that time and still does not comply; and
  • less than two thirds of the flats are owner occupied.

The Council have decided all section 257 HMOs need a licence if they are above a non-residential premises (i.e. an office, shop, etc.). But a section 257 HMO not above a commercial premises only needs licensing if the total number of dwellings exceeds the number of storeys in the building and where the building and all the flats within it are either in the same ownership or are considered by the by the Council to be effectively under the same control.

Confused? Yes, we were as well. It does seem a rather complicated definition! You may need to read it few a few times and seek further advice if you are still unsure. You can study the designation yourself on the Council's website.

3. Additional licensing (Harringay Ward) 

This additional licensing scheme ended on 30 September 2016, although licences granted under the scheme remain in force until the expiry date on the licence.

It applied to all HMOs in the Harringay Ward together with the neighbouring north side of Turnpike Lane plus the neighbouring east side of Green Lanes, together with all of Salisbury Road in the St Ann’s ward. The Council included ‘section 257 HMOs: certain converted blocks of flats’ in the scheme. 

How much does a licence cost?

For a mandatory or additional licence, Haringey Council charges a standard HMO licence fee of £208 per unit of accommodation or bedroom in a shared house. So that is £1,040 for a three storey shared house with five single person lettings. There are some discounts including a £100 discount for members of the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

On the Council’s website, it also says they may reduce the length of your licence in certain circumstances. For example, if you are not accredited, your licence period may be reduced by a year and if you fall behind on Council Tax payments, they may reduce the licence by up to two years. This seems a bit harsh and we think it could be subject to challenge if it was too rigidly enforced.

The fees we have listed were published on the Council’s website in May 2017 but could be subject to change in the future. 

Can I apply for a licence online?

No you can’t. It’s a bit old fashioned! Instead, you can download the application form, complete it by hand and post it back to the Council. The form and accompanying guidance notes can be downloaded from the Council’s website. Once you've clicked on the link, you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Alternatively, you can ask the Council to send you an application pack in the post, which will cut down on your printing costs.

If you need assistance with your licence application, we can help you. We offer a unique hassle-free, one-stop-shop service to handle your licence application from start to finish and all for a fixed fee. To find out more, please drop us a line and we will send you further details, or you can study the information published here.  

Are there any standards I need to comply with?

Yes, Haringey Council’s HMO standards can be downloaded from the Council’s website. Once you've clicked on the link, you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

The standards cover a range of issues such as kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities, fire precautions, heating, lighting, ventilation and room sizes. They apply to all licensed HMOs.

It is important for us to point out that the government are looking to introduce new minimum bedroom sizes for HMOs – 6.52m2 for one person and 10.23m2 for two people. The local council will still be able to ask for larger minimum sizes. The standards will apply throughout England to HMOs licensed under a mandatory HMO or additional licensing scheme. If you are concerned about how this will impact on your properties, please contact us for advice. 

How many properties has the Council licensed?

In February 2015, Haringey Council told us they had licensed 360 HMOs under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme and a further 321 HMOs under the two additional licensing schemes. The Council told us they were currently processing another 89 applications in the Tottenham licensing scheme.

In October 2016, the council told us they had licensed 437 HMOs under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme, 526 HMOs under the Harringay additional licensing scheme and 185 under the Tottenham additional licensing schemes. So that’s an increase of almost 500 licensed properties since we last checked.

Haringey Council keeps a public register of licensed properties that is regularly updated and can be viewed on the Council’s website

Are there lots of unlicensed properties still out there?

We don’t really know. Haringey Council have told us that their last house condition survey was carried out 15 years ago and so they have no reliable figures for the number of HMOs that need licensing under the mandatory HMO licensing and Harringay additional licensing schemes.

For the Tottenham additional licensing scheme, they have told us there are about 3,000 HMOs in the area, although some section 257 HMOs will fall outside the scope of the scheme. But it does suggest there could still be hundreds if not a thousand or more unlicensed HMOs in the borough.

What happens if I don't get a licence?

Ignore the law and you could pay a heavy price. You risk being prosecuted by the Council and if found guilty you could get a criminal record, be fined an unlimited amount and ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge.

From April 2017 the council can issue you with a civil penalty notice of up to £30,000 for not having the correct licence without any warning being given, so this is really serious stuff.  

You could also be subject to a Rent Repayment Order and may have to repay up to 12 months rental income.

Whilst the property is unlicensed, you can’t use a Notice of Seeking Possession under Section 21 Housing Act 1988 to evict your tenants. 
  
And following a successful prosecution, you would probably fail a fit and proper person assessment, making it very difficult for you to obtain a property licence in the future.

Don’t put your livelihood and reputation at risk. Make sure you comply with the law. We can help you get your property licensed! (find out more

Does the Council take much housing enforcement action?

Haringey Council told us they have taken 57 housing prosecutions over the last three years (April 2011 to March 2014), which makes them the second highest borough in London when it comes to housing enforcement action. Seventeen of these prosecutions were for HMO licensing offences.

A further 14 housing prosecutions were carried out in 2014/15 and 5 more in 2015/16. They really are serious when it comes to housing enforcement action!

The Council have obtained five Rent Repayment Orders from the landlords of unlicensed HMOs over the last five years (April 2011 to March 2016). In March 2015, one case was subject to appeal but the Upper Tribunal rejected the appeal and the landlord was ordered to pay £16,000. You can read more about the appeal hearing in the news section below.

How many accredited landlords are there?

Under the London Rental Standard, there are three approved landlord accreditation schemes operated by the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme, the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

Whilst we don’t have any figures for the NLA or RLA schemes, we have got information about the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme that is supported by all the London Boroughs. In January 2016, they told us there were 641 accredited landlords in Haringey, which is the 6th highest out of all London boroughs.

If you have not yet done so, please visit our London Rental Standard page and decide which scheme you want to join. Accredited landlords are entitled to various benefits, including discounted licensing fees in some boroughs.

Is the Council planning to introduce any new licensing schemes?

When Haringey Council consulted on their draft Housing Strategy 2015 – 2020, they included a proposal to bring in further licensing. The consultation document said:

The council will consider introducing a selective licensing scheme for all private landlords with homes in Haringey. Any landlord wishing to rent privately in Haringey will need to register with the scheme, and be subject to an assessment, or face enforcement action. We think this is the best way to ensure good quality homes and management standards in the private rented sector are maintained in the long term”.

In October 2016, the council told us that following the government’s decision to extend the mandatory HMO licensing scheme, they had no plans to consult on a replacement additional licensing scheme for the Harringay ward as they thought the enlarged mandatory HMO licensing scheme would capture most of these properties anyway.

However, they did say that they are still considering plans for a borough wide additional HMO licensing scheme and also a selective licensing scheme. Following data analysis carried out in 2015/16, they said they were consulting with councillors and partner agencies before deciding on next steps.

There’s clearly a lot happening in Haringey and so we will monitor the situation closely. For all the latest news, you can sign up to our free newsletter.  

Do I need planning permission for my HMO?

You will need planning permission if you are changing your property from a single-family property to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) occupied by more than six people. HMOs occupied by more than six people fall within ‘sui-generis’ use for which planning permission is required. You will also need planning permission if you a splitting up a property into smaller self-contained units of accommodation.

For small HMOs, the rules are a bit more complicated. HMOs occupied and shared by between three and six people fall into planning use class C4 whereas single-family properties fall into planning use class C3.

On 30 November 2012, Haringey Council made an HMO Article 4 Direction that removes the permitted development rights to change a property from a single-family house (use class C3) to an HMO occupied by up to six people (use class C4) without planning permission.

We understand that the HMO Article 4 Direction came into force on 30 November 2013 and applies to the council wards of Bounds Green, Bruce Grove, Harringay, Northumberland Park, Noel Park, St Ann’s, Seven Sisters, Tottenham Green, Tottenham Hale, West Green, White Hart Lane and Woodside. A useful map showing these areas can be found within the Article 4 Direction

So from that date, letting your property to three or more people who are not all related could require planning permission. You can find out more information on the Council’s website

We have also published some general advice on HMO Article 4 Directions here.

Remember that this is only intended as general advice and no liability can be accepted for any reliance upon information provided. We would strongly encourage you to contact the Council’s Planning Department or seek independent legal advice before you start a new HMO development. 

Can you help me find the goods and services I need?

We certainly can. We understand the challenges of being a private landlord and so we have developed a Landlord Suppliers Directory to provide you with access to the goods and services you need. The Directory concentrates on businesses that operate in the London area.

Whether you a looking for a letting agent, want a property inventory for a new tenancy, need a legionella or fire risk assessment, or are seeking a Gas Safe registered contractor to service the boiler, we’ve got it covered – and far more besides!

New suppliers are regularly being added and we would encourage you to take a look. Some of our featured listings also contain YouTube videos, helping you to find out more about the business. 

How do I find out more?

To find out more, you can contact the Council at: 

Housing Improvement Team
Haringey Council
Level 6 - Alexandra House
10 Station Road
London
N22 7TR 

Email: environmentalhealth.andhousinggroup@haringey.gov.uk
Tel:    020 8489 1000
Website: www.haringey.gov.uk

Haringey News

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At a Glance

Licence Overview

Mandatory HMO licensing scheme applies borough wide and additional licensing applies to part of the borough. There is no selective licensing scheme.

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