11:05 AM, 28th June 2021, About a month ago 6
One of our landlords has a licenced HMO located in a restrictive dwelling conversion ward. With an Article 4 Declaration in place, no new planning permission is being given for use as a C4 HMO. Not a problem except that this landlord converted the property into 8 unauthorised studio flats and has now been found out and told to dismantle the internal partitions.
The issue is that the council are now saying that by materially changing the use of the property from a generis HMO to 8 unauthorised studio flats, the property has now lost any existing established use as an HMO that would have been previously immune from planning enforcement under Section 171b of the Town and Country Planning Act (1990).
They further say that any use other than a C3 Family dwelling house would now require a full planning application, and a change of use to anything other than a family dwelling would be very unlikely to be supported.
The landlord accepts that it was wrong to create the unauthorised studio flats but feels that to have all the prior usage as an HMO (10 + years) disqualified on a technicality is wrong.
Do any of the experts on here feel this is worth appealing or would it simply be an expensive waste of time?
Can the council simply disqualify all the previous usage just because she put in the unauthorised studios?
It’s a very large house but any more than 2 unrelated sharers would make it an HMO requiring planning permission which will be refused so unless a large family can be found, she would appear to be stuffed.
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