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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Self contained rooms in HMO's

    I mostly have HMOs with ensuites ( some have tea making faciliites ). The argument can boil down to wether the room has a hob ( portable or fixed ) or not.

    A typical property is 6 bed ensuite HMO ( use class C4 ) with a communal kitchen.

    • Bedroom - Configuration A) Ensuite, Bed, Wardrobe, Drawers, Fridge, Smoke detector.
    • Bedroom - Configuration B) Ensuite, Bed, Wardrobe, Drawers, Fridge, Worktop surface, Oven, Heat & Smoke detector.

    If Configuration B had a hob ( portable or fixed ) it would then require planning permission ( and possibly a physical car park space ) as it would be a self contained unit.

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    This sort of issue shows the difference between different legislation:

    The cooker would not be an essential aspect of whether or not it is a self contained unit for council tax purposes - cooking facilities are an indicator but not an absolute. As the VOA guidance states "The occupier of a self-contained unit would usually expect it to have facilities for living, sleeping, preparation and cooking of food, and bathing facilities such as a bath, wash hand basin or shower room, and toilet. The legislation does not provide that to be self-contained a unit has to have all standard facilities and exceptionally there may be instances where the lack of a facility does not prevent a unit from being self-contained"

    Interestingly, a room can also be banded as a dwelling simply be virtue of the nature of occupation (see the 4 points raised in John Laing  & Sons v Kingswood) - this avoids the problem of 'self contained units' as this issue, under the Chargeable Dwellings Order, is only considered if the property is not a dwelling in it's own right. (The Chargeable Dwellings Order only needs to be considered if the property does not meet the criteria to be regarded as a dwelling under s3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992)

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    Specialist Council Tax advisor (A.Inst.Pa) based in Gateshead, but working nationally for landlords and council tax payers.
    http://www.lgfa92.co.uk
    Posting as @CouncilTaxGuy on Twitter
    Why not look at our blog at http://www.lgfa92.co.uk/blog

    Any posts are my own opinion on legislation and may vary from your local authorities !