Changes to House in Multiple Occupation Legislation

Important changes to Town and Country Planning Legislation governing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) came into force on 06 April 2010. These changes in legislation are not retrospective and whilst they will not necessarily affect existing HMO’s the definition of an HMO has now been brought into line with the Housing Act 2004; “An HMO is a house or flat occupied by 3 or more people who rent a property and are not related and share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet”.

A new Use Class has been created, C4, which covers HMO qualifying properties occupied by between 3 and 6 unrelated people. More than 6 unrelated people who share basic amenities are classified as a Sui Generis Use.

Properties occupied prior to 06 April 2010 by 3 to 6 students do not require planning permission, but whilst not mandatory, Investor Landlords can apply for Lawful Development Certificates ( LDC’s).

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