Hi All any advice
I am a landlord I would like to hope a good one renting higher end HMO properties in Brighton. Following on from additional HMO licensing introduced last year on November 5th 2012, Brighton and Hove city council brought in an article 4 planning article in 4 wards restricting further HMO usage commencing from 5th April 2013.
Any property in occupation prior to this date would automatically gain the planning consent as it was in use as an HMO prior to this date. Any property with three or more unrelated tenants is being classed as an HMO for this purpose.
My question is this I have now been refused my planning consent after a complaint from a neighbour (not that my tenants did anything wrong just that the neighbour did not want an HMO next door) even though the neighbour move in after I purchased said property.
The neighbours argument and the councils argument is that although I moved the tenants in with them all paying rent and a reputable letting agent doing the contracts and registering the deposits on 7th March 2013 before the article 4 start date one of the tenants although moving some of his possessions in on the day unknown to me did not actually stay the night before 5 April, therefore they are arguing that there were not three people in occupation (I can not think this is right as you can not force someone to sleep at the property or put someone else in as a replacement one the contracts are signed).
I always presumed you were taken to have occupied the property on signing of the tenancy agreement by both sides and now I have had my permitted development right refused with no chance of an HMO leaving me significantly out of pocket.
Any advice for m anyone would be greatly appreciated
Happy new year all