Landlords could soon have to get permission before turning a house into an HMO (house of multiple occupancy).

In a bid to keep family homes as they are, Croydon Council wants to introduce a rule which means owners would not be able to change buildings into HMOs without getting planning permission first.

At the moment multi-bedroom properties can be converted to small HMOs for three to six people under permitted development – which means planning consent is not required for the change of use.

But the council does not plan to introduce what is known as an Article Four Direction until January next year.

Croydon residents can now have their say on whether they think the plans should go ahead.

Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, said: “For some time we have been concerned by the rapid decline in multi-bedroom homes in the borough, particularly given the acute housing need and people’s inability to access affordable home ownership.

“It is clear it is becoming more and more important to protect family homes in Croydon.  While we recognise the need for HMOs, we can already see that in some parts of the borough there are just too many HMOs in a small area for the local infrastructure to cope.

“This Article 4 Direction will enable us to ensure we have a supply of decent housing for Croydon families to live in, as well as giving our residents moving into newly converted HMOs reassurance around basic rights, such as space requirements.”

If approved the new rules will come into force on January 28, 2020.

Public consultation is open until March 8 and can be found, along with more details, at