Houses in Multiple Occupation - Article 4 Direction

Doncaster Council gives notice of the “making” of an Article 4 Direction on 9th August 2018. The Direction relates to development comprising of changes of use from C3 (dwellinghouses) to C4 (houses in multiple occupation).

Following an informal consultation exercise in respect of the options available to the Council for the future management and control of houses in multiple occupation; the Council has made an Article 4 Direction on the 9 August 2018, relating to houses in multiple occupation. 

The Direction relates to development comprising change of use from a use falling within Class C3 (dwellinghouses) to a use falling within Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation).  The Order removes permitted development rights for this type of development from the date when the Direction comes into force e.g. 14 October 2019, subject to confirmation. 

This means that a property owner within the defined area who wants to convert their property (Class C3) into a small HMO (Class C4, 3-6 persons) will be required to apply for planning permission once the Article 4 Direction comes in force, whereas at present, they would not need to.

The Article 4 Direction applies to land within the areas of Town, Town Fields, Wheatley, Hexthorpe, Balby, Wheatley Hills, Intake and Belle Vue shown edged red on the map. 

Boundary of Article 4 Direction
Download (2.65MB - PDF)

Or alternatively can be viewed on the Article 4 Interactive Map.

The Article 4 Direction will come into force, subject to confirmation by the Council on the 14 October 2019.

We recently carried out consultation on the Article 4 Direction which ended on 14 September 2018. A consultation statement will be produced outlining the consultation, representations and comments received and officer responses to the issues raised, and will be made available to the public.

Frequently asked questions. 

What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

An HMO is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one 'household' (for example, a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It is sometimes called a 'house share'.

Where can I find the definitions of the planning use classes?

The definition of different planning use classes are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).

Planning Use Classes:

Use Class C3 (Dwelling Houses) - These generally include self contained houses or flats occupied by a single person, a couple or a family.

Use Class C4 (Small HMOs) - These include self contained houses and flats shared by between 3 and 6 unrelated people as a "house in multiple occupation".

What is a Sui Generis HMO?

All HMOs which include more than 6 people sharing do not fall within any specified use class and are considered Sui Generis. This means they are in a class of their own.

Do all HMOs require planning permission?

If you have an extant planning permission for a HMO then no further permission is required.

Planning permission is required for HMO developments comprising the following:

New build Class C4 or Sui Generis HMOs
Changes of use to Sui Generis HMOs
Proposals to intensify or enlarge existing HMOs (where planning permission is required)
Changes of use to Class C4 HMOs (from 14th October 2019)
Proposals for flexible C3/C4 uses (from 14th October 2019)

What is Article 4 Direction?

Article 4 Directions are a means by which a local planning authority can bring within planning control certain types of development, or changes of use, which would normally be permitted development (i.e. not require an application for planning permission).

An Article 4 Direction does not prevent the development to which it applies, but instead requires that planning permission is first obtained from the Local Planning Authority.

What is the effect of the Doncaster Article 4 Direction

From 14th October 2019 a change of use from a dwelling house (Class C3) to a house in multiple occupation with 3-6 occupants (Class C4) will require planning permission after 14th October 2019 because the Local Planning Authority has an Article 4 Direction which removes permitted development rights for this type of development. You will need to apply to us for permission to change from a house typically lived in by a family to a HMO property if the property is located within a designated area.

Planning permission will therefore be required for any changes of use from a house (Class C3) to house in multiple occupation with 3-6 occupants (Class C4) from 14th October 2019, where the property is within the area covered by the Article 4 Direction.

What area is covered by the Article 4 Direction?

Why has the Article 4 Direction relating to HMOs appeared on the Land Charges Search for my property?

The Article 4 Direction relating to HMOs is registered as a planning charge to make property purchases aware of the potential for planning permission to be required.

When did the Council make the Article 4 Direction relating to HMOs?

The Notice of Making the Article 4 Direction relating to HMOs was made on 9th August 2018 following a borough-wide consultation exercise to seek the views of residents, elected members and interested parties on the issues raised by the growth of HMOs in the borough.

When does the Article 4 Direction relating to HMOs come into effect?

The Article 4 Direction relating to HMOs will come into effect on 14th October 2019.

I own or operate one or more HMOs within the affected area, how will I be affected?

The Article 4 Direction relating to HMOs cannot be applied retrospectively, so if you currently own or operate HMOs it may be beneficial for you to declare them to the Council.

I have an HMO with more than 6 occupants. How will the Article 4 Direction affect me?

The Article 4 is irrelevant to any HMOs with more than 6 occupants because these need planning permission now and will continue to do so after the 14th October 2019. If you have an HMO with more than 6 occupants and you do not have planning permission than it may be unlawful and subject to enforcement action.

How do I declare my property as a HMO?

You can declare a property as a HMO by completing the online declaration form

What would happen if I do not declare my property as a HMO?

If you do not declare your property as an HMO, you may be subject to enforcement action where the Council will investigate the lawful planning use of the property. You will be required to demonstrate that the property was in use as a HMO prior to 14th October 2019, and the property has continued to be used as a HMO. If you cannot provide evidence to satisfy the Council that the property is a lawful HMO, you will be required to apply for retrospective planning permission.

I own or intend to purchase a Use Class C3 property that I am intending to use as a Use Class C4 HMO, to be occupied after 14th October 2019. Do I need to apply for planning permission to change the use?

Yes. In order for a property to be classed as a C4 HMO before 14th October 2019, it must have already been in occupation as an HMO before this date. Just having completed any conversion works, or registering the property for its intended use, is not sufficient to state that a change of use has occurred. The use class of the property will only change from Class C3 to Class C4 upon occupation when the use is implemented.

If my property has been let as a HMO in the past, but is now being let to a family or less than 3 unrelated people, do I need to apply for planning permission to let as an HMO again?

Yes, if a material change of use has occurred. The use class of the property will change from Class C4 to Class C3 upon occupation of the property by a family. Planning permission will however be required to change the use from a C3 dwelling house to C4 HMO again.

If an HMO is empty for a period of time between lettings, will it lose its Use Class C4 HMO status?

No. If a property was used as a C4 HMO prior to it being empty it will not lose its C4 HMO status, provided no other use has taken place between lettings. If the property was used as a C4 HMO before 14th October 2019, or if it was granted planning permission for C4 use after this date, its lawful use will remain as a C4 HMO.

Do I need to apply for planning permission to change the use of my property from a Use Class C4 HMO to a Use Class C3 dwelling house?

No. Change of use from a Class C4 to Class C3 is permitted development. There is no intention to withdraw permitted development rights for this type of development.

How can I avoid the need for a planning application?

In order to avoid the need for a planning application, prior to the Article 4 Direction coming into force, an owner can apply for a certificate of existing lawful use - a landlord will need to provide proof of the existing use before the Article 4 Direction came into force (i.e. 14th October 2019).

How do I apply for planning permission for an HMO?

Guidance on how to apply for planning permission is available on the How do I apply for planning permission web page.

Can I get any advice before applying for planning permission?

The Council offers a pre-application service which gives you an opportunity to discuss your proposal with a planning officer and find out what information you need to support your planning application.

Further details are available here Pre-Application.

Free general planning advice can also be obtained from the Planning Portal, an online service that offers information on the planning system.

Process and documentation so far -

The process which led the Council to pursue the consideration of an Article 4 Direction for the area proposed, for the purpose of houses in multiple occupation and an accreditation scheme for private sector housing is summarised below:

Summary of key milestones for implementation - 

Additional Licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation 

The council has introduced additional licensing, which applies to certain Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) not already covered by mandatory HMO licensing, which came into effect from 1 October 2018. 

Further information can be found at Additional Licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation.

More Information 

Privacy Notice 
The Council is committed to meeting its data protection obligations and handling your information securely. You should make sure you read and understand the Planning Services privacy notice, which sets out what you need to know about how Doncaster Council will use your information in the course of our work as a Local Planning Authority.

 

Last updated: 06 August 2019 09:33:48