Change of use from C4 to C3

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  • Change of use from C4 to C3

    I own a property in a conservation area in Hove currently consisting of 15 units. It is a licensed HMO.

    The maintenance costs are horrendous and as I am making very little profit, I want to sell up. I would like to convert it into 8 self contained flats and sell them one by one. This would not invlove any change to the exterior of the building, just alterations to the internal layout.

    Is the council likely to block this change of use from C4 to C3 as they seem keen to keep a lot of affordable housing in the area.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Philip

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  • HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    aciduzzo
    I have a three-bed two-storey flat which i intend to let to three unrelated students on a single AST. I understand this will be considered an HMO. I also understand i will need a fire assessment; can this be done by the fire brigade?

    I realise i am almost certainly going to have to install...
    22-07-2017, 10:26 AM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    leaseholder64
    Yes, but if it is a recent, purpose built flat, and the block well managed, and the tenants are a single family, likely to be responsible, and have no mobility problems, it can be very simple and do it yourself, as you can largely rely on the flat being suitable for such tenants, and the tenants acting...
    22-07-2017, 22:39 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    aciduzzo
    So are you saying that all landlords need an FRA (even when the FSO doesn't apply)?
    22-07-2017, 21:09 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    leaseholder64
    You would be prosecuted under the Housing Act, instead (or in the worst case, for manslaughter).

    You have a duty of care for the fire safety of your tenants, and you can't really know that you can fulfil that without going through the same processes as an FSO Fire Risk Assessment. Note...
    22-07-2017, 15:18 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    aciduzzo
    Yep, Lewisham council does not require licences for small HMOs. I think the best thing to do is to call their HMO team on Monday, as it's all too confusing! Seems the FSO does not apply to "shared houses" (as defined above), in which case it could be concluded that shared-house HMOs don't...
    22-07-2017, 14:36 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    leaseholder64
    As its not licensable, assuming your council doesn't require licensing for all HMOs, it is basically up to you to get advice from a competent person. Everything is just guidance.

    However, the basis of the shared house definition is that the the sharers are friends, so it is probably OK...
    22-07-2017, 13:32 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    aciduzzo
    thanks - didn't realise that. good to know!

    FYI - i found the LACoRS RRO guide 08:

    ... in low risk two-storey shared houses. Where the first floor is no more
    than 4.5 metres above ground level, rooms used for
    sleeping could be provided with access to a suitable...
    22-07-2017, 13:17 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    leaseholder64
    Two unrelated couples is an HMO in England.
    22-07-2017, 12:25 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    aciduzzo
    I had the work done myself. It was approved by both the freeholder and building control, and i have the completion certificate. So i know the works were above board. It was permissible because it's a ground-floor flat, and the bedroom windows were considered a safe escape route under building regs....
    22-07-2017, 12:12 PM
  • Reply to HMO fire-safety questions - open plan living area
    leaseholder64
    Is this a flat or a maisonette? I'm not sure that it would ever have been approved as a flat.

    You will need to have the fire risk assessment done on the open market. Legislation in 2005 basically privatised that function of the fire brigade.

    Living rooms are considered high...
    22-07-2017, 11:32 AM
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