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What is an HMO?

The definition for an HMO is:

  • It’s rented to five or more those who form over 1 household
  • It’s a minimum of 3 stories high
  • Tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

You must have a license if you’re renting out an HMO, which is a completely different set of legislation to planning, (which we’ll cover below), but it’s important to notice that both must be complied with.

In recent years, certain boroughs have also brought in legislation which suggests that whether or not your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you’ll still need a property license to let it out. it is best to test along with your council to see if this is applicable to you.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

Are you going to rent your property to tenants who are sharing the identical kitchen and bathroom? Then you’ll know the essentials of applying for planning permission for Houses in Multiple Occupation, referred to as HMOs. It’s equally crucial to bear in mind the legal procedures regarding HMOs so as to avoid any fines of up to £20,000.

The quick answer to the question is: no, often you don’t need planning permission for converting a property to an HMO. that’s because, in England, the final Permitted Development Order (GDPO) makes it possible for you to vary the utilization of a domicile (use class C3) to a C4 HMO (House in Multiple Occupation), subject to certain limits and conditions. But there are important exceptions, so don’t make any assumptions, and do read on…

What Planning Class Does an HMO Fall into?

Since 6th April 2010, small houses and flats in multiple occupations (HMOs) now fall within their own “class” for planning purposes, C4 class.

What’s the Difference Between C3 and C4?

  • A family home or a home employed by one person is classed as C3 (Dwelling House/Flat)
  • A small shared house of up to 6 unrelated individuals is classed as a C4 (HMO)
  • A house for over six unrelated individuals is thought as an outsized HMO (Sui Generis)

Permitted development is permission granted from the govt. only if the changes you want to create accommodates its regulations. Landlords can make changes between certain use classes without planning permission (subject, as ever, to conditions).

Class C4 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) (UCO) allows for the utilization of land as an HMO by less than 6 residents; that’s up to six unrelated individuals who share basic amenities.

But although the GPDO created a permitted development right letting landlords change a C3 house to a C4 HMO without planning permission, in some areas, especially in London, that permitted development right isn’t any longer operating. that’s because many local authorities are putting in effect directions under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) (TCPA) that removes the permitted development rights for change of use from C3 to C4.

When Does an HMO Need Planning Permission?

You always need planning permission to maneuver in and out of the single-use class, so any HMO of seven or more people needs planning permission no matter location. It is a Permitted Development Right to maneuver between C3 and C4 classes and back again, so in most cases, a tiny low HMO doesn’t need planning permission. However, you will also need planning permission if your HMO is within the C4 class and your government agency has a commentary 4 Direction. this is often power councils should remove permitted development rights and that they can use this to need planning permission for tiny HMOs additionally. you will also need planning permission irrespective of the dimensions of the HMO if there’s a planning condition on your property restricting the utilization.

What Are the Criteria for Withdrawing Permitted Development Rights for HMOs?

Article 4 Direction allows local authorities to get rid of permitted development in some circumstances. Article 4 must be among a concept that clearly shows the world that’s subject to the direction and therefore the extent of the realm that has to be based upon evidence.

Councils are progressing to manage HMOs better by improving residents’ standard of living and maintaining mixed communities. This is often thanks to studies that show that an amount of HMOs can be related to the subsequent issues:

  • poor standards of accommodation
  • loss of local character
  • reduction in environmental quality
  • increased noise complaints
  • increased anti-social behavior
  • loss of single-family dwelling houses
  • increased levels of crime
  • increased pressures on car parking
  • the dominance of private renting
  • increased pressure upon local services
  • changes to the local retail provision

Although HMOs may be a problem in London and also the UK, we believe that they’re a vital source of low cost, private sector housing for college kids, and for those seeking temporary accommodation. We also believe that HMOs with good access to conveyance and native facilities play an awfully important role in providing affordable accommodation.

What Is an HMO Licence and Do I Want One?

Under guidance from 2018, HMOs are subject to licensing requirements if:

  • Five or more people forming over one household live there, no matter the number of stories
  • Five or more occupants board an HMO that’s above or below an area of business
  • It’s a self-contained flat, but not a purpose-built flat, on a block comprising 3 or more self-contained flats
  • If you rent your property without the mandatory license, you’ll be fined up to £20,000.

Summary: planning or licensing?

The main nugget to require faraway from licensing is that mandatory HMO licenses apply to any HMO with 5 or more occupants. a number of the wants will affect the layout of the house furthermore as renovation schedules or specifications, so ensure you understand the conditions timely within the process. And whether or not you’re exempt from a compulsory HMO license, remember to test whether additional or selective licensing still applies. Above all, don’t forget that planning and licensing are completely various things, but both equally important. that the next time someone mentions Article 4 directions and licensing within the same sentence, you’ll correct them confidently.

HMO Planning Permission Birmingham

HMO Planning Permission Northern Ireland

HMO Planning Permission Wales

HMO Planning Permission Croydon

HMO Planning Permission Liverpool

HMO Planning Permission Southampton

Photo by Jesse Roberts on Unsplash

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