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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Article 4

    Question. What happens if you are buying a house to convert into an HMO and just as you complete Article 4 comes in at the same time. Have you just bought a house you can't convert if the council so desires?

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    I'm afraid yes. Unless you have established use, which you can prove you have a big problem.

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    Not necessarily. Councils are required to pay compensation for a short period if they refuse planning as a result of an article 4 direction coming into force. However an article 4 direction does not mean that you cannot convert to HMO use but rather that you need planning consent to do so.

    The blanket refusal of this by many local authorities has been successfully challenged and so you may wish to get your planning application in anyway. I would suggest you take advice as to your plans urgently.

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    Usually they provide 12 months' notice of the introduction of an Article 4 Direction so as to avoid possible claims against them where people have bought a property with the intention to convert, but have missed the opportunity. This allows you time to carry out the conversion and get it occupied. At this point you will need to demonstrate HMO use before the Article 4 becomes effective.

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    Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor. Experienced in estate management, residential investments, planning and development and rights for utility apparatus. All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.


    Thanks for the replies. I'll talk to the council to hopefully find out exactly what their plans are.

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