John has taken a keen interest in local issues, having been brought up in Plumstead.
Recently, John has taken a particular interest in residential and planning issues, despite his heavy workload. This was prompted, in part, by an irresponsible property management company buying up a small terraced house next door to his family home to turn into an HMO without following the necessary laws and regulations and causing extensive damage as a result.
Following a small amount of research, it quickly became apparent to John and his wife, Sam, that this was one of many hundreds of HMOs being created by irresponsible landlords across South East London, with no regard for laws and regulations to extract the maximum possible profit from vulnerable people and the housing benefit provided to them from the public purse. This is a recognised scandal, reported widely in the media.
John has challenged the local authority to take a far tougher line against rogue landlords and irresponsible developers. Local authorities could force landlords to seek proper planning permission for these sorts of developments in just 28 days and have the powers to take rogue landlords to court on behalf of their local residents.
Yet, in Greenwich, it sometimes seems as if the local authority doesn’t even understand their own legal advice.