HMO Planning Permission; What is it and do I need it?
HMO Planning is the formal permission from a local authority or council, for the erection or alteration of buildings or similar development, for the use class HMO, C4 (Small HMO) or Sui Generis HMO (Large HMO).
In terms of planning only, under part C of Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, a House of Multiple Occupation is defined as:
“A shared house occupied by between three or more unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.”
The 2 types of HMO Planning Permission
C4 HMO Planning; small shared houses occupied by between 3 and 6 unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
Sui Generis HMO Planning: shared houses occupied by 7 or more unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
Do I Need HMO Planning Permission?
If you are operating an HMO under the definition laid out above, from part C of Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, then YES you do need to have HMO planning permission, to avoid being “in breach of planning”
What Happens If You Don’t Have HMO Planning Permission?
If you don’t have the correct HMO planning permission and you are operating an HMO under the definition of HMO planning legislation, then this is classified as being in ‘breach of planning”
Being in breach of planning is “the failure to obtain planning permission or comply with the details of permission.
A planning breach in itself is not illegal and the council could permit a retrospective application where planning permission has not been sought.
However, the council can issue an enforcement notice requiring things to be put back as they were. A local planning authority can also serve an enforcement notice when they consider planning control rules have been broken.
It is illegal to disobey an enforcement notice and this is something for which can be prosecuted in a court of law.
How Can I Get HMO Planning Permission?
In order to answer the question correctly, and assuming you are looking to gain C4 HMO planning consent, it must first be determined whether the property in question is located within in an Article 4 Directive area.
YES, the property IS located within an area with an Article 4 directive – full planning application is required.
NO, the property IS NOT located within an area with an Article 4 directive – full planning application is not required.
In this case of a property residing in an area without an Article 4 Directive, planning permission can be obtained through permitted development. This takes the form of a 56-day prior notification application and is very straight forward.
To find out whether or not a property is located within an area with an Article 4 Directive speak to your local planning authority.
To find an HMO Planning Consultant or HMO Architect who will be able to aid you in your enquiries, go to the HMO Directory to be connected with the relevant service