Planning consent required for all HMO's

Article 4

The London Borough of Redbridge removed all permitted development rights for C4 HMO's by introducing Article 4 on 6 Dec 2019.  This does not affect class C4 HMO's that existed prior to 6 December 2019.  Proof of HMO existence prior to this date will be required.


Housing Consent Requirements

We have now introduced a 1 year licence for any House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) application, which has been submitted without having planning consent in place for “change of use” from a single household dwelling to an HMO.

This consent is required for changes from class C3 (dwelling) to class C4 HMO (HMO of three - six occupants) and also for changes from class C4 to class Sui Generis (large HMO of seven plus occupants). 

Therefore, planning permission is required for all HMO applications consisting of three or more unrelated people, forming two or more households and sharing facilities unless an exception applies.



Exceptions to this requirement will be those properties who have obtained a Certificate of Lawful Use (COLU) or authorisation through the passage of time where they are classed as exempt due to established use or a C4 HMO that existed prior to 6 December 2019.

We recommend seeking pre-application advice on all changes of use.

We have further details regarding Planning and HMO's.


Licensing Schemes

If you wish to operate an HMO you may require a licence as well as planning consent.

The two licensing schemes we currently have are:

Mandatory licensing – a boroughwide scheme (for large HMO's 5+ occupants sharing and forming 2 or more households).

Selective Licensing scheme - in 12 designated wards (This includes small HMO's of 3-4 occupants forming 2 or more households  or a single household). 

All properties identified in the red chevron area require a licence.

Our Additional licensing scheme has now ended.  The renewal of this scheme is now under review.


Apply for your HMO licence


If you are unsure as to whether or not you require a licence please email us with your premises address at


Licence Application Process

Once you have started your application, you must complete it and submit it with the initial payment, (admin fee) within six weeks from the start date.

If you have not obtained planning permission or do not have a valid exemption from acquiring planning permission, we will only issue you with a one year licence.

The full deposit will be taken as the initial admin fee.  The second fee (enforcement fee) will be charged at 1/5th of the full five year second fee.

At the end of the first year licence, if you have been granted planning permission you can then apply for a brand new five year HMO licence at full fee. However, if “change of use” is refused, you will not be able to continue with your HMO and may have to consider a single household licence. The legal process to reduce occupancy levels will have to be followed.

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