HMO planning issue

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    HMO planning issue

    I have a property where I got an HMO license from the Council, via the environmental health department 3 years ago

    Planning are taking enforcement against me as it was it hasnt been an HMO for over 10 years - they do have a case from a planning point of view, with over intersification, parking and amenity issues

    I'll be appealing against it though, my main defence would be as follows:
    - The Council gave me the license to operate the property as an HMO
    - 10 tenants would be made homeless, meaning the Council would have to house them via their temporary accommodation team, costing them more

    Would this be a decent defence? What else could I add to improve it?


    I would suggest that neither of your points are 'material considerations' in planning terms ie they arent a defence against enforcement and/or would not outweight the harm caused to the area by the intensification of the use, amenitey and car parking issues.


      In April 2010 there was change in the use class of a house used as an HMO from C3 to C4.

      You need to research this change in the Use Classes Order, because I was under the impression that a house in use as an HMO in April 2010 became immune from enforcement on the date that the Use Classes Order changed.

      If the current use of your house is C4 and has been so since April 2010 that may be your defence.

      The ones you have mentioned have no planning validity, so will be of no use to you if you appeal an enforcement notice.


        It's not C4 usage as it has more than 6 non-related people occupying it. This is probably Sui Generis (i.e. in it's own use class) and this would always require planning permission right from the outset.

        Please also note that HMO licensing is completely different from HMO planning requirements - Licensing is all about tenant safety.

        I would get a planning expert on this pronto.


          Thats correct, its a sui genesis as its over 6 people

          This C3 to C4 use is intriguing

          Would this investment idea be feasible and is anyone implementing it i wonder?

          Buy single dwellings, with for bedrooms upstairs. Dowstairs there are two reception rooms.

          Renting all these rooms out as bedrooms (thats 6 rooms to 6 unrelated people). They share the kitchen and bathroom.

          Is this 100% permitted, under the C3 to C4 change of use?

          Looking forward to your replies!


            Originally posted by medlock View Post
            Would this investment idea be feasible and is anyone implementing it i wonder?


            Is this 100% permitted, under the C3 to C4 change of use?

            Er yes, I've been doing this for several years... hard work, high damage rate, but the returns are there if you buy right.

            HMO License
            The property being converted for HMO use may need a HMO license to meet statutory or local council selective HMO criteria. This licensing process can demand items such as additional bathrooms or extra fire safety work before the license is granted.

            Changing C3 to C4
            The right to change C3 to C4 without planning depends on the local council where the local property is located. Local councils can lock down this change via an Article 4 declaration. The first Article 4 declaration is expected to come into force around November.

            I would expect another 4-6 years of planning appeals + court cases before the full implications of Article 4 C4 use restrictions are understood and the planning risks minimised. This is because a change of use is not just a simple change in the type of occupiers, it often requires a time element as well (and also that a council needs to demonstrate clearly that it has a reasonable mechanism to reject these kinds of planning application).

            Note - these comments are only related to England and Wales. Scotland and NI have different requirements.


              Environmental Health and the Planning Departments are entirely different and have different objectives.

              In the same way that Planning Consent doesn't remove the requirement for Building Regulation Approval as Planning and Building Control are totally different departments.
              There is always scope for misinterpretation.

              If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

              Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


                Great, thanks for the reply

                For six tenants, how many bathrooms and kitchens should I supply, 2?

                And am i right in assuming that the min bedroom size should be 10 sq metres?


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