Jessica Bave puts the spotlight on the controversial issue of HMO

Spotlight on- Houses in Multiple Occupation

Spotlight on- Houses in Multiple Occupation

First published in News
Last updated
Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A LANDLORD was told to clean up his act by the borough council – but one year on, neighbours are still having to live next door to an eyesore.

As reported in The Gazette last May, the property in Normanton Road, Oakridge, had rubbish and rubble covering the front and back gardens and no fence surrounding the rear garden.

The owner of the property was granted planning permission to extend the rear of the property in September 2011, and in a previous article, neighbours told The Gazette that work started in 2012 but was later abandoned.

The landlord was ordered by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to clean up the mess and make improvements, including levelling surfaces inside and outside the house and creating level paths leading to the property, by June 1 last year.

But one year on, and these pictures show that little improvement has been made, with rubbish and rubble still strewn across the front garden.

In February, the garden was a complete mess, and while it has been tidied up a bit, it was still covered in rubble and mess at the end of last month.

It is not known if there are any tenants currently living in the two-storey house.

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, told The Gazette: “I think it (the mess) has been there for years, and it has been like that since September. They did clear some of it up but I still think they are doing work on it.”

Paul Harvey, Labour councillor for Norden, said: “It is clear that this landlord is out of his depth. We have got to have something done about this. For over a year, residents have been dealing with next door being a building site.”

He added: “I am angry because the local community are having to live with it. We want to promote good practice and see good landlords supported, but bad ones have to be rooted out.”

Tom Payne, environmental health manager at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said: “We are aware and have been working with the owner of the property to ensure that waste associated with renovation works does not impact on the living conditions of the residents there or the public.

“However, we are disappointed that despite being asked to tidy up on numerous occasions, the landlord has not taken adequate steps to clear the garden.

“We will be pursuing this matter with the landlord, and may take further enforcement action if necessary.”

The Gazette has been unable to contact the owner of the property.

Comments (21)

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3:47pm Sun 11 May 14

OvercrowdedCountry says...

The latest Gazette reported that the council has decided not to enforce tighter restrictions on HMOs in Basingstoke. I was shocked. A Tory Council ignoring problems that affect areas mainly containing Labour voters? Well. who'd believe it?
The latest Gazette reported that the council has decided not to enforce tighter restrictions on HMOs in Basingstoke. I was shocked. A Tory Council ignoring problems that affect areas mainly containing Labour voters? Well. who'd believe it? OvercrowdedCountry
  • Score: -1

12:06am Mon 12 May 14

EMW says...

As a local resident I understand the landlord of this property has purchased numerous properties which he treats as simply a source of income and to hell with everyone in the surrounding neighbourhood.
He and others like him should be subject to strongly enforced controls.
Although not a Labour party supporter I commend councillor Paul Harvey and thank him and his fellow Norden councillors who have tried hard to get action on our problem.
I guess it will take a catastrophe due to the emergency services being unable to gain access to such areas, due to the extra vehicles parked by the occupants of such houses, to make the council move their posteriors off their seats!
As a local resident I understand the landlord of this property has purchased numerous properties which he treats as simply a source of income and to hell with everyone in the surrounding neighbourhood. He and others like him should be subject to strongly enforced controls. Although not a Labour party supporter I commend councillor Paul Harvey and thank him and his fellow Norden councillors who have tried hard to get action on our problem. I guess it will take a catastrophe due to the emergency services being unable to gain access to such areas, due to the extra vehicles parked by the occupants of such houses, to make the council move their posteriors off their seats! EMW
  • Score: 5

8:26am Mon 12 May 14

jonone says...

OvercrowdedCountry wrote:
The latest Gazette reported that the council has decided not to enforce tighter restrictions on HMOs in Basingstoke. I was shocked. A Tory Council ignoring problems that affect areas mainly containing Labour voters? Well. who'd believe it?
So there are absolutely no HMO's in anywhere with a Labour council? Like Southampton? No, thought not....
[quote][p][bold]OvercrowdedCountry[/bold] wrote: The latest Gazette reported that the council has decided not to enforce tighter restrictions on HMOs in Basingstoke. I was shocked. A Tory Council ignoring problems that affect areas mainly containing Labour voters? Well. who'd believe it?[/p][/quote]So there are absolutely no HMO's in anywhere with a Labour council? Like Southampton? No, thought not.... jonone
  • Score: 3

10:10am Mon 12 May 14

JJ38JJ says...

"It is not known if there are any tenants currently living in the two-storey house." - it's not a HMO then is it? It's just untidy and as far as I know being untidy is not illegal unless it's a health hazard.
"It is not known if there are any tenants currently living in the two-storey house." - it's not a HMO then is it? It's just untidy and as far as I know being untidy is not illegal unless it's a health hazard. JJ38JJ
  • Score: 2

12:06pm Mon 12 May 14

laurence86 says...

The council have a lot less powers when it comes to private property, which is fair enough if the owner wants to have an unkept garden then it is his property at the end of the day. Obviously this is not so good for his neighbours, but providing it is not causing a hazard or impinging on any tenancy rights there is not much that can be done. I am guessing that if the garden is in that state either there are no tenets, or they are getting **** cheap rent. Personally I would get it sorted because it must be a bad investment at the moment.
The council have a lot less powers when it comes to private property, which is fair enough if the owner wants to have an unkept garden then it is his property at the end of the day. Obviously this is not so good for his neighbours, but providing it is not causing a hazard or impinging on any tenancy rights there is not much that can be done. I am guessing that if the garden is in that state either there are no tenets, or they are getting **** cheap rent. Personally I would get it sorted because it must be a bad investment at the moment. laurence86
  • Score: 3

12:54pm Mon 12 May 14

Max Headroom says...

So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in.

Just about says it all really.
So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in. Just about says it all really. Max Headroom
  • Score: 9

8:17am Tue 13 May 14

jonone says...

Max Headroom wrote:
So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in. Just about says it all really.
What NIMBYs are stopping houses being built? There are hundreds of houses being built, or about to be built, including huge numbers of the social housing that Labour complain isn't being built (but didn't do much to encourage between 1997 and 2010). Perhaps if "young families" got themselves settled whilst couples, sorted what they would do property wise and then started having children, they'd have more of a chance. Contraception is free on the NHS after all....
[quote][p][bold]Max Headroom[/bold] wrote: So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in. Just about says it all really.[/p][/quote]What NIMBYs are stopping houses being built? There are hundreds of houses being built, or about to be built, including huge numbers of the social housing that Labour complain isn't being built (but didn't do much to encourage between 1997 and 2010). Perhaps if "young families" got themselves settled whilst couples, sorted what they would do property wise and then started having children, they'd have more of a chance. Contraception is free on the NHS after all.... jonone
  • Score: 0

8:22am Tue 13 May 14

Buster Preciation says...

Max Headroom wrote:
So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in.

Just about says it all really.
Not really. On one hand we have someone who cannot afford something and on the other we have someone who can. Since when has it been any different about anything? Or are you suggesting a redistribution of wealth?
[quote][p][bold]Max Headroom[/bold] wrote: So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in. Just about says it all really.[/p][/quote]Not really. On one hand we have someone who cannot afford something and on the other we have someone who can. Since when has it been any different about anything? Or are you suggesting a redistribution of wealth? Buster Preciation
  • Score: -1

8:50am Tue 13 May 14

Max Headroom says...

jonone wrote:
Max Headroom wrote:
So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in. Just about says it all really.
What NIMBYs are stopping houses being built? There are hundreds of houses being built, or about to be built, including huge numbers of the social housing that Labour complain isn't being built (but didn't do much to encourage between 1997 and 2010). Perhaps if "young families" got themselves settled whilst couples, sorted what they would do property wise and then started having children, they'd have more of a chance. Contraception is free on the NHS after all....
Funnily enough that's exactly what me and my Mrs are doing, not having kids until we've bought our own place. Unfortunately for those taking this option as well, it also comes with the added risk of giving birth at an older age.

Within the next 15 years we're going to see a huge spike in older mothers, along with the added strain on the NHS that the risks of older motherhood entails. Another issue is that this'll also increase the age gap further down the line, not enough working age younger folk to look after the elderly, look at what's happening in Japan at the moment.

There's greater social problems here that potentially can be caused by this one issue.
[quote][p][bold]jonone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Max Headroom[/bold] wrote: So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in. Just about says it all really.[/p][/quote]What NIMBYs are stopping houses being built? There are hundreds of houses being built, or about to be built, including huge numbers of the social housing that Labour complain isn't being built (but didn't do much to encourage between 1997 and 2010). Perhaps if "young families" got themselves settled whilst couples, sorted what they would do property wise and then started having children, they'd have more of a chance. Contraception is free on the NHS after all....[/p][/quote]Funnily enough that's exactly what me and my Mrs are doing, not having kids until we've bought our own place. Unfortunately for those taking this option as well, it also comes with the added risk of giving birth at an older age. Within the next 15 years we're going to see a huge spike in older mothers, along with the added strain on the NHS that the risks of older motherhood entails. Another issue is that this'll also increase the age gap further down the line, not enough working age younger folk to look after the elderly, look at what's happening in Japan at the moment. There's greater social problems here that potentially can be caused by this one issue. Max Headroom
  • Score: 9

9:00am Tue 13 May 14

Max Headroom says...

Buster Preciation wrote:
Max Headroom wrote:
So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in.

Just about says it all really.
Not really. On one hand we have someone who cannot afford something and on the other we have someone who can. Since when has it been any different about anything? Or are you suggesting a redistribution of wealth?
Most people can afford the monthly mortgage payment no problem, even if the rates get bumped up to 7%, unless they've paid a stupid amount for their house that they know they can't afford. It's the deposit that's the issue, rents are generally higher than mortgage payments so finding spare cash to put on top of that is very difficult. We're putting away several hundred quid a month (probably more than someone earns on min wage in a month) and yet it still doesn't feel like it's enough to keep up with price rises
[quote][p][bold]Buster Preciation[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Max Headroom[/bold] wrote: So on the one hand we have young families who dream of owning their own property and would take good care of said property, but can't do so due to astronomical house prices and Manydown/Hatch Warren NIMBYs stopping more housing from being built. On the other hand you have slum landlords like the one in this article who quite frankly do not care about the state of their property to their tenants or nearby community so long as the rent's rolling in. Just about says it all really.[/p][/quote]Not really. On one hand we have someone who cannot afford something and on the other we have someone who can. Since when has it been any different about anything? Or are you suggesting a redistribution of wealth?[/p][/quote]Most people can afford the monthly mortgage payment no problem, even if the rates get bumped up to 7%, unless they've paid a stupid amount for their house that they know they can't afford. It's the deposit that's the issue, rents are generally higher than mortgage payments so finding spare cash to put on top of that is very difficult. We're putting away several hundred quid a month (probably more than someone earns on min wage in a month) and yet it still doesn't feel like it's enough to keep up with price rises Max Headroom
  • Score: 4

9:33am Tue 13 May 14

JJ38JJ says...

Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden?
Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden? JJ38JJ
  • Score: -5

9:40am Tue 13 May 14

JJ38JJ says...

I have a limited grasp of economics but I do know that if something is overpriced then it won't be sold. People who claim house prices (or deposits at least) are too high want more to be built. If they are too high then wouldn't you expect there to be empty ones? You can't have the argument both ways.
I have a limited grasp of economics but I do know that if something is overpriced then it won't be sold. People who claim house prices (or deposits at least) are too high want more to be built. If they are too high then wouldn't you expect there to be empty ones? You can't have the argument both ways. JJ38JJ
  • Score: 3

9:47am Tue 13 May 14

Max Headroom says...

JJ38JJ wrote:
Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden?
If you have an owner who cares about the property, unlike this landlord, the front garden won't be messy. Simples.
[quote][p][bold]JJ38JJ[/bold] wrote: Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden?[/p][/quote]If you have an owner who cares about the property, unlike this landlord, the front garden won't be messy. Simples. Max Headroom
  • Score: 2

9:59am Tue 13 May 14

JJ38JJ says...

Max Headroom wrote:
JJ38JJ wrote:
Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden?
If you have an owner who cares about the property, unlike this landlord, the front garden won't be messy. Simples.
Still don't get it. If he cares more about his property then it helps solve the apparent housing shortage? Not simples.
[quote][p][bold]Max Headroom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JJ38JJ[/bold] wrote: Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden?[/p][/quote]If you have an owner who cares about the property, unlike this landlord, the front garden won't be messy. Simples.[/p][/quote]Still don't get it. If he cares more about his property then it helps solve the apparent housing shortage? Not simples. JJ38JJ
  • Score: -1

10:05am Tue 13 May 14

Max Headroom says...

JJ38JJ wrote:
Max Headroom wrote:
JJ38JJ wrote:
Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden?
If you have an owner who cares about the property, unlike this landlord, the front garden won't be messy. Simples.
Still don't get it. If he cares more about his property then it helps solve the apparent housing shortage? Not simples.
I was referring to just the front garden with that point, not my wider soapbox rant (and I apologise as it probably has descended into one by this point). As for housing in general, there's never going to be a solution that's helpful to everybody, just one that's going to cause the fewest amount of people financial and social pain. So I agree, not so simples.
[quote][p][bold]JJ38JJ[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Max Headroom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JJ38JJ[/bold] wrote: Nice political rant Max Headroom - what's it got to do with a messy front garden?[/p][/quote]If you have an owner who cares about the property, unlike this landlord, the front garden won't be messy. Simples.[/p][/quote]Still don't get it. If he cares more about his property then it helps solve the apparent housing shortage? Not simples.[/p][/quote]I was referring to just the front garden with that point, not my wider soapbox rant (and I apologise as it probably has descended into one by this point). As for housing in general, there's never going to be a solution that's helpful to everybody, just one that's going to cause the fewest amount of people financial and social pain. So I agree, not so simples. Max Headroom
  • Score: 3

12:27pm Tue 13 May 14

OvercrowdedCountry says...

One obvious action which would help to alleviate the housing shortage is to stop importing people into this country who (obviously) create an even greater demand for housing. I'm no expert, but surely if you have a shortage of any commodity, you try to reduce the demand and increase the supply; you don't increase the demand. (But of course I must not say this because it might be interpreted as meaning that uncontrolled immigration from the EU is a bad idea.)

BTW The "buy-to-let" owner will always be able to afford more than the first-time buyer, and so the first-time buyer will be priced out of the market.
One obvious action which would help to alleviate the housing shortage is to stop importing people into this country who (obviously) create an even greater demand for housing. I'm no expert, but surely if you have a shortage of any commodity, you try to reduce the demand and increase the supply; you don't increase the demand. (But of course I must not say this because it might be interpreted as meaning that uncontrolled immigration from the EU is a bad idea.) BTW The "buy-to-let" owner will always be able to afford more than the first-time buyer, and so the first-time buyer will be priced out of the market. OvercrowdedCountry
  • Score: -4

1:01pm Tue 13 May 14

Max Headroom says...

OvercrowdedCountry wrote:
One obvious action which would help to alleviate the housing shortage is to stop importing people into this country who (obviously) create an even greater demand for housing. I'm no expert, but surely if you have a shortage of any commodity, you try to reduce the demand and increase the supply; you don't increase the demand. (But of course I must not say this because it might be interpreted as meaning that uncontrolled immigration from the EU is a bad idea.)

BTW The "buy-to-let" owner will always be able to afford more than the first-time buyer, and so the first-time buyer will be priced out of the market.
Assuming UKIP and backbench Tories get their way and the UK leaves the EU, what about the 5m+ British expats who would have to come home when we lose free movement and free working rights within the EU? They'd need housing too. It works both ways.
[quote][p][bold]OvercrowdedCountry[/bold] wrote: One obvious action which would help to alleviate the housing shortage is to stop importing people into this country who (obviously) create an even greater demand for housing. I'm no expert, but surely if you have a shortage of any commodity, you try to reduce the demand and increase the supply; you don't increase the demand. (But of course I must not say this because it might be interpreted as meaning that uncontrolled immigration from the EU is a bad idea.) BTW The "buy-to-let" owner will always be able to afford more than the first-time buyer, and so the first-time buyer will be priced out of the market.[/p][/quote]Assuming UKIP and backbench Tories get their way and the UK leaves the EU, what about the 5m+ British expats who would have to come home when we lose free movement and free working rights within the EU? They'd need housing too. It works both ways. Max Headroom
  • Score: 5

1:27pm Tue 13 May 14

jonone says...

Max Headroom wrote:
OvercrowdedCountry wrote: One obvious action which would help to alleviate the housing shortage is to stop importing people into this country who (obviously) create an even greater demand for housing. I'm no expert, but surely if you have a shortage of any commodity, you try to reduce the demand and increase the supply; you don't increase the demand. (But of course I must not say this because it might be interpreted as meaning that uncontrolled immigration from the EU is a bad idea.) BTW The "buy-to-let" owner will always be able to afford more than the first-time buyer, and so the first-time buyer will be priced out of the market.
Assuming UKIP and backbench Tories get their way and the UK leaves the EU, what about the 5m+ British expats who would have to come home when we lose free movement and free working rights within the EU? They'd need housing too. It works both ways.
Oh, you forget, Brits moving freely overseas is our God-given right.

Never mind that quite a good percentage of those nasty foreigners living here probably put more into society than some of the home grown dregs subsidised by the state.
[quote][p][bold]Max Headroom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OvercrowdedCountry[/bold] wrote: One obvious action which would help to alleviate the housing shortage is to stop importing people into this country who (obviously) create an even greater demand for housing. I'm no expert, but surely if you have a shortage of any commodity, you try to reduce the demand and increase the supply; you don't increase the demand. (But of course I must not say this because it might be interpreted as meaning that uncontrolled immigration from the EU is a bad idea.) BTW The "buy-to-let" owner will always be able to afford more than the first-time buyer, and so the first-time buyer will be priced out of the market.[/p][/quote]Assuming UKIP and backbench Tories get their way and the UK leaves the EU, what about the 5m+ British expats who would have to come home when we lose free movement and free working rights within the EU? They'd need housing too. It works both ways.[/p][/quote]Oh, you forget, Brits moving freely overseas is our God-given right. Never mind that quite a good percentage of those nasty foreigners living here probably put more into society than some of the home grown dregs subsidised by the state. jonone
  • Score: 6

3:58pm Tue 13 May 14

popleyrebel2 says...

Quote from jonone
“Never mind that quite a good percentage of those nasty foreigners living here probably put more into society than some of the home grown dregs subsidised by the state”

Are you talking Maria Miller MP,??
Quote from jonone “Never mind that quite a good percentage of those nasty foreigners living here probably put more into society than some of the home grown dregs subsidised by the state” Are you talking Maria Miller MP,?? popleyrebel2
  • Score: 1

8:05am Thu 15 May 14

jonone says...

popleyrebel2 wrote:
Quote from jonone “Never mind that quite a good percentage of those nasty foreigners living here probably put more into society than some of the home grown dregs subsidised by the state” Are you talking Maria Miller MP,??
Not in the first instance only, but of course I understand that it is not politically correct to be negative to those at the lower end of the class structure. especially the many clearly not as badly affected by the cost of living crisis Labour and their supporters work hard to maintain the myth of.
[quote][p][bold]popleyrebel2[/bold] wrote: Quote from jonone “Never mind that quite a good percentage of those nasty foreigners living here probably put more into society than some of the home grown dregs subsidised by the state” Are you talking Maria Miller MP,??[/p][/quote]Not in the first instance only, but of course I understand that it is not politically correct to be negative to those at the lower end of the class structure. especially the many clearly not as badly affected by the cost of living crisis Labour and their supporters work hard to maintain the myth of. jonone
  • Score: 1

8:09am Thu 15 May 14

jonone says...

Oh, and just in case the left get all het up, I do understand there are people in genuine need, just wish my taxes helped them instead. But Labour never did that and I acknowledge the current government have done a bad job of cleaning up the mess Labour left in the welfare state.
Oh, and just in case the left get all het up, I do understand there are people in genuine need, just wish my taxes helped them instead. But Labour never did that and I acknowledge the current government have done a bad job of cleaning up the mess Labour left in the welfare state. jonone
  • Score: 1

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