23/5/18 – Regulation changes to Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Government have announced new legislation to the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation, with these changes coming into effect on 1 October 2018. This extends the remit of HMOs and the criteria to which they need to comply in order to gain a license.

The Government estimate that it can now provide legislation for a further 177,000 existing HMOs. These changes include the introduction of minimum room sizes and the need for a license for flats and two storey houses in use as HMOs. These changes may also have indirect implications on the planning use of a building.

Although the General Permitted Development Order allows changes between dwellinghouses (Class C3) and HMOs (Class C4), many local authorities have imposed restrictions upon areas where there are already high numbers of HMOs. These frequently cover inner-city areas and around universities, but can include whole towns/urban areas. A formal change of use planning application or Certificate of Lawful Development may therefore also be required to ensure compliance with the indirect effect of this legislation.

Aitchison Raffety have a wealth of experience of resolving HMO issues. This has included securing consent in 2018 for two appeals in Northampton where there were highway concerns and the proposals breached the Council-defined limit for HMOs in the area.

Should you wish to find out further information in respect of these changes, please contact Jonathan Weekes in our Town Planning Division on 01604 880163 or jonathan.weekes@argroup.co.uk

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