Newham are not granting any further change of use permissions?

by Readers Question

9:34 AM, 18th July 2014
About 7 years ago

Newham are not granting any further change of use permissions?

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Newham are not granting any further change of use permissions?

I might have to sell my house because Newham council won’t let me let it to a group of professional sharers.

It’s too expensive and large for most families (agents suggest 2k pcm) and Newham council have said they are not granting any more planning permission for change of use, which I have to have in order to apply for an additional HMO to let to more than two unrelated people.

I am myself renting a property in another area to be near my elderly mother and I am also getting over an illness which has prevented me from working, so I am dependent on the rent from my house. I have also just spent a lot of money to repair and refurbish it ready to let again.

Does anyone have any advice? I really don’t want to sell my house and eventually I will move in again and I would like to then let to 3/4 more people to share with me.

Many Thanks

Jill change

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Ian Narbeth

11:40 AM, 21st July 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jill Coyne" at "21/07/2014 - 11:04":

The rules are that if you have 3 or more tenants (not living as one household) then you have an HMO - see

"Your home is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants"

You are probably aware but as a reminder you also need to have an HMO mortgage as normal BTL mortgages do not allow HMOs.

Jill Coyne

11:48 AM, 21st July 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Narbeth" at "21/07/2014 - 11:40":

Ian yes that's the point -.I need an Additional HMO need planning permission for change of use which the planners say they are not granting any more.
I've been letting my property to groups of sharers for over eight years. Just that when licensing came in I happened to have a family. The council issued a selective license for up to 11 people which is crazy as there is only one bathroom. Impossible to find a family for this property

Ian Narbeth

12:14 PM, 21st July 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jill Coyne" at "21/07/2014 - 11:48":

Please contact me and I can put you in touch with a planning specialist. My number is 020 7822 1616.

John Daley

12:23 PM, 21st July 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jill Coyne" at "21/07/2014 - 11:04":

Hi Jill,

Seems I was wrong earlier and the property might be an HMO even if you live there. Please accept my apology fior the duff advice.

Jill Coyne

13:44 PM, 26th July 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Narbeth" at "21/07/2014 - 12:14":

Ian, thanks for the help so far, & until I speak to your planning specialist......

I urgently need to let the house out so I'm thinking of applying for the Additional HMO license and paying the £500 fee, so that I can let to a group of four professional sharers who wish to live there; I can't find a small family who can afford to live there (only one bathroom) & max of two unrelated people is too few for a 4 bed house.

The licensing dept have sent me an application form saying that once I have applied for an Additional HMO license and paid the £500 fee I will be permitted to rent my property to the group but the Selective license will automatically be revoked at this time (it's useless anyway if I can't find a family to live there) and when it then goes to planning, they may not grant permission for change of use. If that happens I don't know what I'll do but it might give me 6 more months which I really need just now.

So I've emailed the planners requesting a pre planning application discussion, and explained that the house is set up for 3-4 sharers, and all safety aspects are in place. And that it's not set up for a large family mainly due due having only one bathroom and insufficient kitchen storage for more than 4-5 people max.

(I'd welcome any feedback or comments from anyone who has with knowledge about this).

Samuel Raj

9:44 AM, 24th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Hi Jill,
What's the update in your case as it is of much interest to me since I've just bought a property without prior knowledge of the Licencing...etc. As it is a 3/4 bedroom house I'd like to give it to professional sharers to maximize rentals. I've been advised to apply for Additional by Estate Agents, but yet to talk to Planning at Newham. Any advise appreciated

Jill Coyne

18:27 PM, 24th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Samuel Raj" at "24/11/2014 - 09:44":

Samuel- the problem you may encounter is that even if you get an additional licence for a small HMO, in Newham you need planning permission for change of use from residential to small HMO but the planners told me on the phone that no one has succeeded in being granted planning permission since the article 4 direction was introduced. And they dont want to grant any more pp. because of parking and also because they want to create a permanent, not transitory population.
I've emailed the head of planning twice but has no reply. unhelpful. I haven't given it my full attention but they also told me I couldn't let to more than two unrelated people whilst living here either. So basically they want to say that single people may not share like a family group with more than two other unrelated people no matter how many rooms there are. I haven't pursued it any further yet- too busy trying to make ends meet. I don't know if you'd even get a licence but at £600 or £700 an application they'd probably say yes. I've turned away a few groups of prof sharers whilst talking to planning - hopeful sharers then ended up high & dry due to the stupidity of the council. Let me know how you get on- I'm interested in tackling the council. Good that prop 118 has made a forum just for this subject.

Nicholas Evans

23:29 PM, 5th December 2017
About 3 years ago

Hi Jill,
Followed this blog with interest - was wondering what the outcome of your situation with Newham Council was?


13:40 PM, 6th December 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Nicholas Evans at 05/12/2017 - 23:29Indeed Mr Evans, I woulkd also like to find out what Jill Coyne did in the end, I also took a great interest in this topic, there are some large properties in Newham that is beyond the reach of smaller families, only extended families with close community links move into such properties, with both partners working and possibly adult children living with parents also working and contributing towards rent, but such families are far fewer, because many such families would opt to rather buy their own home with a joint mortgage.
So one is left with no choice other than to rent out a large house at a much lower rental income, often under-utilised.
One other option would be to rent it out to a small family and then ask them to sublet to two other professional lodgers, and that way you may be able to get better rent.
Or the second option is to apply for planning permission and convert to two separate two bedroom flats, each currently yielding £1200 pcm rental income in Newham. This way one can rent upstairs to tenants whilst keeping downstairs for yourself.

I hope Jill Coyne can tell us what he did in the end.

Lional Chong

17:47 PM, 30th June 2020
About 7 months ago

Just discovered this thread. Hopefully someone else is still reading! 🙂
Joe Bloggs mentioned on page 1 of this thread that when Newham first brought in licensing in 2012, it would be great if you had gotten a small HMO licence (assume he is referring to the equivalent of the current additional licence for 3 or more sharers in a 2 storey house, rather than the ones for the official HMO with 3 stories). This is because the Article 4 Directive only came into force in 2013. Therefore, holders of the small HMO licence in 2012 have established use as a C4 dwelling and were automatically deemed to have gotten planning permission from C3 to C4? Is this true?
I have a 2 storey house in Newham which was rented out to 4 sharers and I got the equivalent of the additional licence back in 2012, and then when that expired, renewed for another additional licence in 2018. So even though in 2013 Newham says you need a C4 planning permission to let a 2 storey house to 4 sharers, does this mean I do not need to formally get C4 planning permission?

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