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HMO PLANNING V LICENSING

HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) planning permission and HMO licensing are two different processes that are required for property owners who wish to rent out a property as an HMO. Both processes are essential for ensuring that the property is safe and suitable for occupants, and that the property owner is operating in compliance with local regulations.

HMO Planning Permission

HMO planning permission refers to the process of obtaining approval from the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for the conversion of a property into an HMO. This is not always required as in most areas, conversion of a house to a HMO of 6 or less bedrooms is considered permitted development.

However, where the HMO is 7 or more bedrooms or it is located in an area covered by an Article 4 direction, an application to the council will be required for planning permission. The council will consider the impact of the conversion on the surrounding area, including issues such as parking, noise, and waste management. If the application is approved, the property owner will be granted planning permission to convert the property into an HMO.

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HMO Licensing

HMO licensing, on the other hand, refers to the process of obtaining a license from the local council to operate an HMO. This process is separate from planning permission and is required for all HMOs that are occupied by three or more people from two or more households.

 

The license is issued by the council and is valid for a set period of time, typically five years. The council will assess the property to ensure that it meets a set of minimum standards called the HMO Amenity Standards. This includes issues such as minimum room sizes, fire safety, electrical safety, and the provision of adequate facilities for occupants. These requirements can change from area to area. The council may also impose conditions on the license, such as the requirement for regular inspections or the provision of additional facilities.

It is very important to be aware of these two different processes when buying existing HMOs of 7 or more bedrooms or HMOs located within the boundary of an Article 4 direction. Just because a HMO has a licence, it does not automatically mean that it has planning permission to operate as a HMO. It is vital that you seek clarification with the Local Planning Authority to confirm it is lawful development.

HMO Planning Permission

  to convert a property into an HMO

  ensure proposed conversion meets

   local planning policies and

   regulations

HMO Licensing

  to operate an HMO

  ensure property meets a set of

   minimum standards and is safe 

   and suitable for occupants

Conclusion

In summary, HMO planning permission is required to convert a property into an HMO, while HMO licensing is required to operate an HMO. Planning permission is focused on ensuring that the proposed conversion meets local planning policies and regulations, while licensing is focused on ensuring that the property meets a set of minimum standards and is safe and suitable for occupants.

 

Both processes are essential for property owners who wish to rent out a property as an HMO and must be obtained before the property can be occupied.

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