Do I Need Planning Permission For A Hmo?

Are you interested in changing your property into a HMO? We have created this article to help you understand the regulations in Bournemouth.

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If you have not already, take a look at our previous article regarding houses in multiple occupation and the landlords’ responsibilities. Click here.



The Different Types of Residential Use:

For planning purposes, residential use in England and Wales can be categorised into C3 and C4.


Class C3 – Dwelling house:

A class C3 dwelling house is formed of three parts:

(a) a single person or by people to be regarded as forming a single household;
(b) not more than six residents living together as a single household where care is provided for residents; or
(c) not more than six residents living together as a single household where no care is provided to residents (other than a use within Class C4).

Class C4 – House in Multiple Occupation

Small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.



Do I Need Planning Permission?

From 1st October 2010, you will no longer need to apply for planning permission for a change of use from a C3 to a small HMO C4, if your house is occupied by up to six tenants.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO) is designed to allow movement between some use classes without any form of planning consent being required.


However, Individual local planning authorities have the ability to restrict the use of permitted development rights by issuing a local planning direction (Article 4 Direction).

An Article 4 Direction means that you need planning permission to change the use of a house (class C3) into an HMO (class C4)

The Article 4 Direction was made under Article 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order.

The Article 4 Direction applies to all of Bournemouth.



What is an Article 4 Direction?

An article 4 direction removes permitted developed rights from a particular type of development.

In November 2010, Bournemouth Borough Council agreed to make an Article 4 Direction which would remove permitted development rights for the change of use from dwelling house to a class C4 HMO. The Article 4 direction came into force on the 16th December 2011.

Planning permission will therefore be required for the change of use from a C3 to a class C4. There will be a cost for this.



Check out the frequently asked questions on the Bournemouth Government website --> Click Here

If you are thinking of changing your property into a C4 and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team. Our property experts will be happy to help.

01202 805050