Article 4 riddle

by Readers Question

15:26 PM, 16th May 2017
About A year ago

Article 4 riddle

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Article 4 riddle

My understanding of article 4 is that when introduced it means that a ‘small HMO’ that did not previously need a license will now need a license. I have also seen on a number of websites that the article 4 does not affect properties already classed as ‘small HMO’.

What I don’t understand is: If the property did not originally need to be registered as an HMO how does the council know that it was being used as an HMO that they will not require you to now license it?

Thanks

AV



Comments

Rob Crawford

11:55 AM, 17th May 2017
About A year ago

Hi Av, actually your interpretation is wrong. Where Article 4 Direction is employed by a Council it means you will need planning permission for a change of use category. Such as changing a non HMO dwelling into an HMO. Once it is an HMO you may then need to apply for a licence, the licensing of an HMO is a separate issue. Article 4 is used by Councils to ensure some control of how many HMO's may populate a given are. There may be varying thresholds that the Planning office use to agree or not agree to permission being granted. I am not sure that in all cases where Article 4 is employed a licence is required. You will need to talk to you council (PRS Dpt) about this. I you should be licenced but don't apply it could lead to prosecution, a hefty fine and closure with subsequent prosecution for wrongful eviction. The council trawl advertising website and monitor tenant complaints - so getting caught is a reality.

Av Mind

14:16 PM, 17th May 2017
About A year ago

Ok, so you will need planning permission to change from c3 to c4 even for a 'small HMO'. There are then other factors to decide if you need a license. So far I understand. Was I also incorrect in assuming that a house that was being used as a C4 before article 4 was introduced will not need planning permission to continue being used as C4? If it does not need planning permission how did the council know it was being used as a C4 before the date the article comes into effect?

Thanks

Grumpy Doug

16:59 PM, 17th May 2017
About A year ago

Av. So long as you have copies of previous tenancy agreements that should be fine - worked for me. You are not obliged to volunteer anything, but keep the old agreements handy if challenged.
Licencing is a different matter. It's only mandatory if 3 storeys high etc. However, as we know, councils are increasingly introducing selective licencing which could catch you out anyway. Not a problem ... you just get dragged into the licencing mess along with everyone else!!

Bill O'Dell

14:34 PM, 18th May 2017
About A year ago

Grumpy Doug is right Article 4 is all about Planning not Licencing.
If you become an HMO with Article 4, you need planning small or large doesn't matter. Some areas then require Licencing, not all. Check with your local environmental health dept as they administer the regulations. They will advise you if you need to register, or any regulations you need to conform to. Best to get a good relationship going with them as they can be very helpful, and keep you out of jail! They often also are host to NLA meetings and these are good networking events.
Meeting the regs should not be considered a pain, it really is a minimum standard that is required, and you wouldn't want to live any where that is lower standard than this. Meeting the regs also means you have additional opportunities to rent - students for example, or your local hospital will all require this.


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