Do I Need Planning Permission For a House in Multiple Occupation ( HMO)?
Today we are going to take a whistle-stop tour of houses in multiple occupations (HMOs); covering every aspect you need to know if you are looking to progress with one.
Are you thinking of renting out your property to tenants who will be sharing the same kitchen and bathroom? Then you will need to know the factors necessary for planning permission for HMOs (house in multiple occupations). It is crucial to know all the aspects of legal and residential regarding HMOs to avoid any fines later.
Planning permission is not normally required to convert a property into an HMO. The reason is in England, the general development order makes it possible for you to change the use of your property from class 3 to class 4, subject to certain limits and conditions. There are certain exceptions, so don’t make any assumptions and read on…
If you are passionate about HMOs and investment, as a beginner or as an experienced HMO landlord, you will need to learn a few factors of planning permission for a house in multiple occupations and how to convert your house into one.
Can I Convert a Property Into an HMO Under Planning Permission?
The good news is that you generally don’t need planning permission when converting a house or flat to an HMO property, which is a small shared house of up to six individuals. The change of property status to HMOs may require permission if your council decides to remove permitted development rights by enforcing what is known as an Article 4 direction. You need to understand the risk of not complying with the rules and conditions.
Note: Article 4 does not stop developments, but under some directions, you need planning permission for a house in multiple occupations. So, if you plan to rent your own home, and there is an Article 4 direction implemented, you should apply for planning permission then.
What are C3 and C4 Classes?
- A home owned by a single family or an individual is classed as C3.
- A house shared by six unrelated individuals is classed as C4A house occupied by more than six unrelated individuals is classed as a large HMO.
Permitted development is permission granted by the authorities only when the changes you wish to make act following its regulations. Landlords can make changes between certain use classes without planning permission.
In the areas where the Article 4 directions are in place unless authorised with time, planning permission is needed for the change of use. In other words, this doesn’t allow flexibility for property owners to change the use between C3 and C4 and convert the property into an HMO. So that means you need planning permission for HMO if there is an Article 4 Direction in place in your area!
Note: Building Regulation approval is also required in respect of conversion and change of use works to provide new HMOs.
Is HMO Licence needed?
HMOs are subject to licensing if:
- Five or more people form more than one household or live there, regardless of the number of storeys.
- Five or more individuals live in an HMO that is above or below the place of commercial business.
It is a self-contained flat.
Remember if you rent out your property without the necessary licence, you could be fined.
Who can help you?
Finspace Group is a professional property finance broker and expert in these cases. If you want to convert your property into HMOs, get in touch with us today!