This is according to Susan Drakeford, licensed conveyancer at Adams & Remers. The new HMO ruling requires the owners of a property intended to be a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) to apply for planning permission for change of use.
Drakeford believes that property owners may want to consider waiting till September for further clarification by the new Government on whether this scheme will be changed to give individual authorities the choice as to whether planning permission is required.
Commenting, she said: “A HMO is defined as a property where 3 or 6 unrelated individuals share basic amenities. This doesn’t include properties where the owner and up to two lodgers live. There are also other exemptions. The change requires the owner of the property to apply to their local authority for planning permission if they want to turn it into a HMO for 3-6. However the new Government has indicated it would like individual local planning authorities to decide whether planning permission is required.”
There is further grey area around the legislation for a property where more than six individuals will live as the control limit of 6 persons defines the scope of the new class 4 planning category.
Drakeford continued: “Many landlords I have spoken with are still unaware of the proposals to change the rules again.
“At the moment the government is holding a consultation process for interested parties in September. This will be put before Government with any changes coming into force on 1 October 2010. Anyone who is planning a HMO or planning to turn a HMO back into a single dwelling should at the moment apply to their local authority for planning permission which costs £350 or hang on till 1 October to see if the rules change.”