Here we are again in September, and the good news is that our pub evenings are re-starting! The next one is Wednesday 11 September and our speaker is Kate Davies, Chief Executive of the Notting Hill Housing Trust, one of the biggest housing associations in London. To give you a flavour of what Kate will speak about, here are a few words from Kate herself:
At our next pub evening we will be discussing the very current issue of short term lettings. As you may know, Westminster City Council does not allow short term lettings (less than 90 days) without planning permission. Such short term tenancies can lead to problems in neighbourhood areas, and in some cases may be linked to benefits fraud.
We are therefore very pleased that David Whitehouse-Hayes, Counter Fraud Manager at Westminster City Council, who deals with housing benefit fraud and illegal sublets, has agreed to attend our March pub evening and speak to us about this problem.
Please join us on Wednesday 13 March between 6.30 and 8.30pm in the Upstairs Theatre Bar of the Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place.
The issue of nuisance sub-letting is a concern for a number of HPEA members. It is a complex issue, with many different groups and organisations involved, and responsibilities are not clear.
The Westminster City Council policy is that you need planning permission to let your property for less than 90 days. Without it you could be fined and have an enforcement notice registered as a legal charge on your property.
The requirement for planning permission exists so that the Council can control the amount of property which is for temporary accommodation, recognising that this can generate more nuisance than permanent residential property – for example: overcrowding, rubbish, comings and goings at unsocial hours, noise, and other issues caused by tenants being unfamiliar with local laws and customs.
In order for the HPEA to support members affected by this issue, and also to evaluate its effect on the area as a whole, the committee has arranged for a brief fact-finding report to be prepared. Research will include face to face meetings with a selection of campaigning and affected members, as well as representatives from key organisations. Sarah Clifford (communications committee member) will be drafting the report during early October. If you would like to input, please contact Sarah via the membership mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org.