Does a HMO need planning permission?

Changes to the planning law occurred in 2010. A new USE Class of “C4” or HMO (before 2010 “C3” was used for small HMO’s or “Dwelling House Use Class).

The change meant that all landlords had to gain planning permission before they could let a property that was “C3”, as a small HMO (“C4”), where there was between 3 and 6 unrelated sharers. This is known as “Change in Use”.

However, in October 2010 legislation was amended. Within the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) a change in use was included – from C3 to C4, allowing landlords to change properties from a C3 dwelling to C4 HMO without the requirement of planning permission.

N.B.: Local authorities have the power to remove permission for the C3-C4 Change in Use. This enables them to limit the number of HMO’s in a geographical area.

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