C3 ( c )  AST ?

C3 ( c ) AST ?

9:29 AM, 11th May 2020, About 2 years ago 11

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Hello, I would appreciate any advice or information about letting a property using definition of C3 (c) please.

Let to a small group who don’t fall within C4 use nor meet criteria for C3 (a) or C3(b) any pointers toward relevant noted legal cases would be very welcome?

Thanks all,


Notes: From planning Portal >> Click here

C3 Dwellinghouses – This class is formed of three parts

  • C3(a) covers use by a single person or a family (a couple whether married or not, a person related to one another with members of the family of one of the couple to be treated as members of the family of the other), an employer and certain domestic employees (such as an au pair, nanny, nurse, governess, servant, chauffeur, gardener, secretary and personal assistant), a carer and the person receiving the care and a foster parent and foster child
  • C3(b) covers up to six people living together as a single household and receiving care e.g. supported housing schemes such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems
  • C3(c) allows for groups of people (up to six) living together as a single household. This allows for those groupings that do not fall within the C4 HMO definition, but which fell within the previous C3 use class, to be provided for i.e. a small religious community may fall into this section as could a homeowner who is living with a lodger

C4 Houses in multiple occupation – Small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.


by Neil Patterson

9:31 AM, 11th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Hi Steve,

Please see my notes above and to help readers answer do you have a specific example of the group you are looking to rent to?

by Jerry Stone

11:24 AM, 11th May 2020, About 2 years ago

I am confused by your concerns?
The use Class is a planning issue nothing to do with the rental.
There is no offence of doing something without Planning Permission.
If the Local Planning Authority do come and ask then you can just submit a Planning application at that stage.
Even if they refuse it then an appeal is
Likely to take 18 months.
Keep records and after four years then you can apply for a Certificate of Lawful use.
I do think that you are over complicating it.

by Freda Blogs

12:06 PM, 11th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Doing the necessary fire safety etc works and getting an HMO licence for your letting (if appropriate) is however a priority.

by Harlequin Garden

15:09 PM, 11th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jerry Stone at 11/05/2020 - 11:24
That is not strictly correct as it depends what planning use you have and how you are letting the property. If you are issued with an enforcement notice (never ignore a visit from planning when they are making their case you can get time to apply then, - if you ignore them they will come back with an enforcement notice having been quiet for months and you think they've gone away, they haven't, you have an asset and a sitting duck) then you have 6 weeks to appeal and if you don't 6 months to comply with whatever they set you. Don't rely on 4 years either this is very onerous - the burden of proof is on you - and they can go back further (and often do).

Having said that I'm not exactly sure what the initial question is about - have you tried speaking to the duty planner at your local council without identifying yourself? This should set you straight!

by Jerry Stone

15:58 PM, 11th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Harlequin Garden at 11/05/2020 - 15:09
With due respect I am a Planning Consultant a Landlord as well as a former Local Authority Enforcement Officer with over 20 years experience.
The last thing that I would do is to bring it to the attention of the Local Authority.
The first action that a L.P.A. should do is to invite a Planning Application.
If they did serve you with and enforcement notice then you are correct there is a limited time to Appeal. However if you then make a Planning Application the Enforcement Notice stops and it stops until such time as that Planning Application and any Appeal is Considered. You can also appeal the Enforcement Notice.
Your comments on the certificate of Lawfulness are I am afraid incorrect. I have prepared numerous certificates successfully.
These are considered on the balance of probability: It is more likely that it happened than it didn't in simple terms so if you save the correct evidence then it is very difficult for an L.P.A. to disprove it.
If you are going to consider approaching the L.P.A. you need to check the Planning Policies first as this will tell you whether its likely to be acceptable.
If you want to drop me an email to jerrystone7@btopenworld.com I will happily have a look for you.
Harlequins Gardens if you are gong to write that is not strictly correct I would suggest that you ensure that you really know the regulations. I certainly would not consider commenting on Gardening.

by Steve FLS

18:55 PM, 11th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 11/05/2020 - 09:31
Hi Neil,

Thanks very much - this links to a previous post of mine - I have a Restrictive Covenant " not to use or permit to be used except as a single private dwelling house " and have established that all of my immediate neighbours have the benefit of the RC and know that they will act to prevent C4 small HMO if able, I haven't been able to obtain legal indemnity insurance and in the course of my reading have stumbled on C3 ( c ) and so seeking advice as to whether this can be used for a let to ' pre- formed group ' of five university students on a single AST ? The legislation gives example of small religious group for C3 ( c ) and while I'm still reasonably confident of being able to find five students for the house being able to describe them as a small religious group might be a bit of a stretch....

by Steve FLS

15:55 PM, 12th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jerry Stone at 11/05/2020 - 15:58
Thanks very much for your time and advice when we spoke this morning Jerry, am much obliged. Steve

by Puzzler

22:13 PM, 12th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Obviously we don't know what Jerry said but it's not just a planning issue, sounds like it would be a breach of your covenant and possibly would require an HMO licence.

by Steve FLS

9:54 AM, 13th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 12/05/2020 - 22:13
We had a very useful conversation and confirmed that there are no planning / enforcement issues re use as C4 HMO but the position re use under C3 ( c ) or C4 and potential breach of restrictive covenant less certain and I will need further legal advice.

by Harlequin Garden

11:50 AM, 13th May 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jerry Stone at 11/05/2020 - 15:58
Jerry, you've repeated what I've said - at the time of writing we had no idea what his issue was so I commented generally for lawful use - I said 'do not identify yourself' when I suggested speaking to the duty planner.

I'm a landlord of 35 year, multiple property types including HMOs, I've been through most that can be thrown at me including applying for a CLUED where I was told clearly by the planning officer that I should supply 4 years 'proof' which I did and it was turned down - I did complain to her senior officer who told me to do it again using the reasons it was declined (lack of proof) - I'd supplied all the info the first time but went back 10 years and repeated 10 years instead of 4 - I did 10 years because I first gave it to a planning advisor who told me that they wouldn't touch it unless I supplied 10 years - which would give me a bill of around £20,000 as they charge per unit - so I did it myself successfully. I also sit on a planning committee so have an idea of my way around these things and wouldn't dream of commenting on anything I had no knowledge of or experience.

I stand by contacting the duty planner for information (without identifying yourself or property) and never ignore a visit from anyone from your local council departments. They do not repeat they enforce.
Well done you for steering Steve in the right direction, this is what this forum is all about.

PS please don't come near my garden.

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