Article 4 Direction on C4 HMOs

Confirmation of the borough-wide, non-immediate Article 4 Direction for small HMOs in the C4 use class

Planning permission is required for any HMO that is occupied by 7 or more unrelated persons.

The Council, earlier this year, confirmed the introduction of an Article 4 (1) Direction which came into force on 6 December 2019. This Article 4 (1) means that permitted development rights will no longer apply to small HMO development (Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation)) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended)) in the borough. Planning permission will be required for such development proposals (HMOs with 3 to 6 unrelated persons). This does not affect Class C4 HMOs that existed prior to 6 December 2019.

Certificates of Lawfulness

Certificates of Lawfulness (Proposed) issued before December 2019 regarding the conversion of C3 dwellings to C4 small HMOs are only valid if the conversion and use of the property as a small HMO took place before the Article 4 Direction came into effect on 6 December 2019.

If the conversion did not taken place by this time, the Certificate of Lawfulness would refer to a legal situation that no longer exists, and it will be necessary to apply for full planning permission.

HMO Licensing

Most HMOs with 3 or more persons of 2 or more household will normally require a licence. You should apply for an HMO licence even if you are unsure if you have or need planning consent, or are taking action to deal with any planning issues in relation to the property. You can apply for a licence here.

Any HMO up to 6 persons that existed before Article 4 was implemented on 6th Dec 2019 is not required to obtain planning consent retrospectively. They will usually be given a 5-year licence when they apply or renew.

Any HMO up to 6 persons that began operating after Article 4 was implemented on 6th Dec 2019 is required to obtain planning consent.

Any HMO with 7+ or more persons that has been operating for at least 10 years prior to their HMO Licence application will normally get a 5-year licence.

Any HMO with 7+ that existed for less than 10 years before making their licence application may need correct planning consent. We will normally issue a 1-year licence to allow the landlord to obtain the correct planning permission or written confirmation from planning that no further planning enforcement action will be taken. At the time of renewal if there are no outstanding planning enforcement issues, we will normally issue a 5-year licence.