Hmo or hotel?

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    Hmo or hotel?


    I am in the process of buying a guesthouse in the south west. It is advertised as a C1 hotel. I was assured by EA and the seller that this property has a license as a guesthouse. The owner uses a website as a guesthouse and the business is listed as a going concern.

    In 2017, someone not the owner applied to turn the hotel into sui generis. I asked about this a few months ago and the owner said it was just for the winter to let in tenants.

    As of today my solicitor has said that the owner does not have a license to run a guesthouse / hotel but instead as a HMO. Solicitor said I would have to get planning permission to run it as a hotel/ guesthouse.

    Feeling confused now. Can anyone offer any insights?

    Many thanks

    Also, the owner has been running it as a guesthouse and has bookings for the whole time they have had it. They even have bookings for 2020.


      The seller is a liar and have been found out.
      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).


        I'm rather confused by your use of the word "licence". What matters is whether the building has planning permission for your intended use class. Any licensing requirements associated with your intended use are separate, and will in most cases be personal to the seller (i.e. you'd probably have to apply afresh for any necessary licences anyway).

        If there has never been planning permission granted in relation to the current use (you can probably check the local council's online planning register yourself to see), you can ask the seller to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for that use class. Provided that the property has been used within that use class for 10 years (or 4 years if it's a dwelling house usage) then it would be granted.


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