September pub evening – Wednesday 11 September

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:

‘There are three types of people who live in London: people who have enough money to buy their own home, people who have managed to get into social housing, and the third is the group of people who rent privately.  The first and second groups are shrinking and the third is growing, reversing a century old trend. Becoming a home owner is getting more and more difficult for the average Londoner, and social housing is hardly being funded. The issue of affordability is acute in the capital, with three out of four new homes being sold to overseas buyers.  Maybe you have adult children living with you, or have downsized to help them?  Possibly you are a landlord? Or even a shared owner? Maybe you are on the waiting list for a Council flat? Perhaps your home is too big or too small, or inadequate for your needs? ‘
Come along to hear Kate give a brief talk on ‘Housing in London’, answer your questions and lead a discussion on housing issues.
This should be a very interesting evening and we look forward to seeing you in the upstairs Theatre Bar of the Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place from 6.30 – 8.30 pm on Wednesday 11 September.  As usual there will be an open bar for soft and alcoholic drinks and an opportunity to stay on afterwards for a bite to eat.  Come and join your friends and neighbours to catch up after the summer holidays.

Next pub evening is Wednesday 13 March

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.


Nuisance sub-letting in our area

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