What happens to unlicensed HMOs once S.21 goes?

What happens to unlicensed HMOs once S.21 goes?

0:02 AM, 17th March 2023, About A year ago 4

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Hello, We’re just waiting for the Renters Reform Bill to pass and Section 21 to be abolished for no fault evictions.

When this happens, what will the position be if/when council planners refuse an application for a Lawful Development Certificate to formalise permission for a property to be used as an HMO?

Specifically, when permission is refused, it comes with an enforcement order requiring the property to be reverted to a single family dwelling.

How can this be achieved post Section 21 abolition if all the HMO tenants are not at fault?

Does this mean they can’t be evicted and therefore the property can continue to be used as an HMO, albeit without planning permission?

Thank you,


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13:58 PM, 17th March 2023, About A year ago

The council will simply issue the defaulting landlord with heavy fines and penalties. Don't expect any sympathy or leniency from the councils. It's not in their remit.

Ian Simpson

9:50 AM, 18th March 2023, About A year ago

I suspect that if there were tenants in situ in an unlicensed HMO, that the council would be very anti creating a situation where they would have to be moved on, as they would very likely have to house e them themselves... so would be likely to issue the HMO licence anyway, possibly with proviso's for improvement...
.....Me just being positive/optimistic I suppose!

Freda Blogs

10:50 AM, 18th March 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Simpson at 18/03/2023 - 09:50
Sadly your optimism may be misplaced - issue of a Lawful Development Certificate is a planning function within the Council, and the HMO licence is a Housing function - and in my experience, often they do not liaise. Invariably they have differing objectives.


17:25 PM, 20th March 2023, About A year ago

If the use of the property pre-dates the introduction of an Article 4 restriction on HMOs, then the Council cannot refuse to accept the prior use exemption.

If the property is an HMO in breach of an Article 4 directive, then you would be subject to prosecution by the planning office now and should change that situation asap.

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