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Properties converted to student housing

Relevant to property owners who either have converted their house to student housing or are considering doing so.

Can you give me a detailed technical definition of what types of houses fall within Class C3?

  • A dwelling lived in by a single person or people regarded as a single household as defined by the Housing Act 2004 [20kb].
  • No more than six residents living together as a single household where care is provided - household in this case is a household as applied under planning law.
  • Situations where no more than six people live together (without care provided) but which do not meet the tests for falling within Use Class C4. This equates to people living as a single household (as applied under planning law) but where no rent is paid by any occupant; or the premises are also used as a workplace; or the premises are new build and occupants do not share washing/cooking/toilet facilities.

What is a single household as defined in the Housing Act 2004?

  • The full definition of a single household is given in Appendix 1, in broad terms this equates to people living together not being considered a single household unless they are members of the same family.

What types of houses fall within Class C4?

  • A dwelling lived in by three or more but fewer than seven people as a HMO using the definition of a HMO set out in s254 of the Housing Act 2004 [20kb], eg people who do not form a single household but who share one or more basic amenities.

I own a property which I let to more than six unrelated tenants - which Use Class does this fall within?

  • A dwelling house lived in by more than six people is classed as sui generis, meaning it is in a class of its own. Planning permission is required for a material change of use from any Use Class to a use which is sui generis.

Do I need planning permission to change a Class C4 HMO into a C3 dwelling house?

  • No, you will not need to apply for planning permission.

How long will it take for my planning application?

  • If planning permission is required as a result of the Article 4 Direction, as a guideline there is a national target for local authorities to decide 80% of planning applications within eight weeks of the application being validated by the council.

I let my house to a group of three or more non related people in the past but this year it has been vacant - will I need planning permission to move new tenants in?

  • No, if the house was last let in a situation which would be considered a Class C4 HMO then you do not need permission to re-let the property after it has been vacant. Similarly you would not need to reapply for planning permission every time a C4 HMO property is re-let as a Class C4.

I let my house to a group of three or more non related people in the past but this year a family moved in - will I need planning permission to let it as a HMO again?

  • Yes, you will need to apply for planning permission.

What approach will the council take to determining planning applications for change of use from Class C3 to C4?

  • The council intends to adopt supplementary planning guidance setting out how it will determine applications within the next 12 months.


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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Apr 2017 at 08:37