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Introduction of Article 4 in Salford: Small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

The likely introduction of an Article 4 direction in Salford means that landlords in the Salford area may soon need to put forward planning permission when converting a single/residential dwelling (known as a Class C3) to a small HMO (Class C4).

While the changes will not make much difference to existing small HMO’s, for landlords who are looking at an expanding student property portfolio, it is worth being aware of the changes, and what this may mean for your student HMOs.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

In the UK, property development usually requires the permission of the local planning authority. For example, if you wished to redevelop land and build a block of apartments, planning permission would be required.

However, there are certain small types of development which do not require planning permission, which are known as permitted development rights. (To find out more visit )

An Article 4 Direction effectively removes these rights of development and can be put in place where a local planning authority believes that there is robust justification for doing so.

What is an Article 4 Direction ‘small houses’ in Multiple Occupation?

Currently, the change of use of a single dwelling house (a home where one family live) to a small HMO which is shared by 3 to 6 unrelated residents does not require planning permission. This means in areas where Article 4 is not in place landlords are currently able to turn I.e. a 2 up/ 2 down residential terrace property (Class C3) into a 3 bed shared student HMO (class C4) property without planning permission.

In certain areas, the local planning authority is able to withdraw this development right by way of an Article 4 direction under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

When will Article 4 come into force in Salford?

It is intended that the requirement for planning permission to change the use of single homes to small HMO’s will apply to all Central Salford wards, and the wards of Barton and Eccles from 25th November 2018.

What does it mean for a house currently let as a small student HMO?

Article 4 directions are only applicable to small HMO’s which are let on are after the day on which they come into force. Therefore, a property which is already let as a small HMO will be deemed to already have permission, and the landlord will not have to apply for planning permission.

What does it mean for owners of property considering conversion to a small HMO in Salford?

After the Article 4 direction comes into force on 25th November 2018, landlords will not be able to convert a residential property into a small house in multiple occupation without first applying to Salford City Council for planning permission.

If you own a small or large student HMO property and are looking for a HMO Property Letting and Estate Agent why not get in touch with Student Haus to see how we can assist with your property needs.

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