Certificate of lawfullness

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    Certificate of lawfullness

    Dear Forum

    Trying to sell a 10 bedroom HMO that has been running for over 30 years as either a Bedsit or HMO and been fully licensed throughout.

    Its current license runs for another 3 years but the buyer is now asking for a certificate of lawfulness.

    I contacted the councils enviromental services department who informed me that my property was fully licensed to run as a HMO, and is not in zone 4 whatever that means for obtaining the certificate.

    I did have a talk wth the planning who say that can provide one but its almost £500 to pay for a piece of paper that says my property can run as a HMO.

    I never had any issues with buying the property nor other HMO's that I had and never heard of anyone else having this certificate in the area, it just seems that the council / buyers solicitors are asking for me to pay £500 to give them further proof that the property can run as a HMO.

    Has anyone else had this issue when trying to sell.


    Any HMO with more than 6 residents is sui generis and requires planning consent. If you don't have that you may find it difficult to sell.


      There is a disconnect (as ever) between the HMO wallahs and the Planning "officers".
      They are basically different entities and thus your HMO licence for 10 beds is only part of the large heap of documents your Buyers soilicitor will require.
      You need to get the Certificate of Lawfulness.
      Interestingly this is actually a "legal" process not a Planning one.
      Imho you will need to provide "evidence" of more than 4 years continuous occupation without objection/hindrance/complaint by any Party (but notably the Council)
      This should be Invoices for utilities, council tax, Insurance and AST copies.
      The Council Legal Dept will then assess the "evidence" and if it is in order, will issue the Certificate.
      Good luck!
      If you get in a muddle, consult a specialist Planning Lawyer.


        Thanks for your views, have evidence from a Notice Requiring means of fire escape from fire for a HMO, sent from the council in 1986 sent to previous owners and host of other documents, but can't find anything about planning permission on the council website as it was done so far back and its only the past few years that is on their online portal.


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