Certificate of Lawfullness - existing use application

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    Certificate of Lawfullness - existing use application

    My local council received an internal complaint that my licenced HMO does not have planning permission, under the Article 4 Direction brought in in 2016, and an enforcement officer requested evidence of use - or to cease the 'unauthorised use'.

    I have been expecting this, and had the evidence to prove its use as an HMO prior to the Article 4, this was forwarded to the enforcement officer, who seemed satisfied, but advised making a Certificate of Lawfullness - existing use application, he also wrote though that I had only submitted evidence of 3 tenancies/persons, and not 5 persons, for which I have a licence (for 5).

    When applying for the LDC, I understood - as long as you could prove 3 or more unrelated households/persons - that would prove use, so why did he comment - as if he should have received evidence of 5.

    When submitting my application, should I be confident that evidence of just 3 will satisfy.

    Three or more unrelated persons creates an HMO.
    This is going to be quite common at the moment as a lot of properties that previously didn't need licensing now do, which will have unearthed quite a lot of properties without planning permission.

    I'd have a look at the specific article 4 restriction to see if there's an issue.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


      He may have just been surprised that you only had 3 tenants as this would not necessarily need a licence.


        This may be of interest...
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


          Thank you all for the replies, and the article is interesting, yes I do wonder why council departments that should be more closely tied are not, my local councils planning dept is privatised, for £400 I can make a pre-app to discuss all this if I wish.

          "He may have just been surprised that you only had 3 tenants as this would not necessarily need a licence."

          Good point, I did have 4 tenants when I applied for the licence, but only sent in evidence for 3 to the enforcement officer, as from a planning point of view I thought that is all the number of tenants he needed to see ...

          The article raises one question, the dwelling size requirement of 120 sq mt floor space, I know there are minimum room sizes, but wasn't aware HMO's had a specific dwelling size, or does this figure relate to more general dwelling sizes and number of occupants, as can be found on a local councils 'Local Plan' or other such similar document ...

          ... which brings me to another point, these sq mt sizes contained in the local Plan are based on number of bedrooms in a dwelling, but in an HMO quite often a living room becomes a bedroom, increasing the number of occupants ... how is this quantified in the planning/licensing application process.



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