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Bonkers Blog December 2017

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9 December (Part 4) - Hide your lodger

HMOs, Houses in Multiple Occupation, are not usually very popular, they have caused some ugly scenes in Bexley already.

HMO in BexleyBexley Council wants to take action against them and is running a consultation through to the 24th January.

Nothing is done for nothing in Bexley so landlords will typically pay £985 for their licence, a fee that will undoubtedly be passed on to their tenants. Bexley Council expects to issue nearly 3,000 licences, it’s big money. Bigger even than the revenue from Yellow Money Boxes.

Neighbours might welcome fewer HMOs which they usually regard with suspicion but there will be opposition too.

One correspondent sees HMOs as the thin end of a wedge.

My son lives within the Manor Road HMO area (Slade Green) and he’s had a letter from Bexley Council indicating that they are aware that he might have a lodger. He has, he owns a normal three bed ex-Council semi; it’s not an HMO, it’s just a friend who helps him pay the mortgage.

I have a bad feeling about this so-called trial scheme. As usual it is presented as if it is to deal with anti-social behaviour in the poorer areas. I can barely see the link between this scheme and anti-social behaviour!

I am familiar with a similar scheme introduced a couple of years ago to the ‘poorer areas’ of Thanet. I think it’s another way of taking control of the borough residents who are savvy enough to let out a spare room in their own house to bring in a bit cash. I have done it for years.

As with all these schemes that encourage people to blindly register thinking it makes their activities more respectable - the real aim is for the Council to impose additional regulations on the house and the letting agreement until the whole lodger idea becomes more trouble than it’s worth.

The state is interfering in our lives more and more and in ways that we can be monitored more easily. Examples being the cashless society, smart energy and water metering, no more cash on buses and phone parking. I accept some of these things are very convenient but they are driven on relentlessly to control us ever more closely.

What do you think about this scheme?

It is true that Britain has become a Big Brother state and true freedom is just a memory. To that list you can add location tracking by mobile phone, Oyster cards, Automatic Number Plate Recognition, web site data collection and Nectar cards!

I am informed that taking in lodgers does not make a house an HMO.

Rent it Right Questions and Answers.


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