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Change Of Use Large HMO

Houses In Multiple Occupation
Recent changes in planning have made it easier for landlords to let properties as houses in multiple occupation (HMO) or change a HMO to a single dwelling. A HMO is a house that is let as a main or only home to at least three tenants who do not form one household. Therefore, a house occupied by a landlord and one lodger or shared by two people, whether or not they form one household, would be considered to be a house in multiple occupation.

A note of caution to landlords, the recent changes only apply to houses that are shared by three to six occupants. While there is a limitation on the number of occupants, a slight increase in that number should not necessarily amount to a material change of use.
Planning legislation requires one to obtain planning permission not only for new building work but also for changes in the use of buildings or land. There are instances where changes of use in specific cases are permitted under the General Permitted Development Order.
The Use Classes Order places users of land and buildings into various classes. In April 2010, a new class was introduced, Class C4, which covers small shared houses or flats occupied by three to six unrelated individuals who share basic amenities.


Change Of Use Large HMO

Large houses in multiple occupation which comprise more than six unrelated individuals are unclassified by the Use Classes Order and come within a category known as sui generis. A planning application will be required for a change of use from a dwellinghouse to a large HMO or from a Class C4 (small HMO) to a large HMO where a material change of use is considered to have taken place. The legislative changes introduced in October 2010 permitted change of use from a single dwelling to a small HMO (3-6 persons) without the need for planning permission. Neither is planning permission required for a change from a small house in multiple occupation (C4) to a single dwelling.

Not all local planning authorities have welcomed these changes. In certain areas, there is a proliferation of houses in multiple occupation and local planning authorities have started to use existing powers in the form of Article 4 Directions to remove these permitted rights. Therefore, landlords are warned to check whether such a Direction has been made in respect of the area in which the property is located to avoid being in breach of planning control. In such a situation the local planning authority could serve an enforcement notice requiring the landlord to carry out such structural works as are necessary to convert the house back to its previous use.

Landlords are advised to seek legal advice or check with their local planning authority before they propose any changes in the use of buildings or land.
Landlords should also be aware that they may require a licence and liability for Council Tax will lie with the landlord. There may be instances where the Valuation Office takes the view that the individual units are self-contained units and, therefore, Council Tax should be charged on each separate unit as opposed to one unit should the property be an HMO. Currently, there appears to be a conflict in some areas of the country between planning and taxation as a property which for planning purposes would be considered to be a HMO is being considered by the Valuation Office in some instances as separate units. This appears to be due to the lack of clarity in the legislation and we hope this will be resolved in the near future.

Use Class A1 - Shops / Retail

Changing to A1
If you own a property that you would like to use as an A1 shop or are thinking of taking a lease on a property but need to change the current use of the property, you have come to the right place. In many instances a property will be permitted a change to A1 only requiring an application for a certificate of lawfulness for the change of use. However, in some cases changing to an alternate use may require planning permission.
Changing from A1
If you are a landlord or business owner and are looking to change the designation of a property from A1 to any alternative use, you will need planning permission before doing so. The most common change from A1 is either to an A3 restaurant or an A5 hot food takeaway, but there are many other potential uses. In our capacity as planning consultants we have successfully secured planning permission for changes from A1 shops to D1 gyms, B1 offices, D1 nurseries, D1 dental centres, and many more.
Listed Building

Change Of Use Prior Notification

Other changes coming into force on 25 May
Other amendments made to Permitted Development rights that take effect on 25 May 2019 include:
Allowing change of use from Class A1 (shops), Class A2 (financial and professional services), or Class A5 (hot food takeaways) or a betting shop, pay day loan shop or launderette, to a use falling within Class B1(a) (offices)a subject to limits and conditions including the submission of a prior approval application.
Allowing change of use from Class A5 (hot food takeaways) to Class C3 (dwellinghouses) subject to limits and conditions including the submission of a prior approval application.
Clarifying that the limit of floor space for any dwellinghouse created by Class Q of Part 3 of Schedule 2 is 465 square metres.
Amending Part 4 Class D (shops, financial, cafes, takeaway etc to temporary flexible use) so that flexible use is allowed for a period of up to three years and now also includes
Class D1(a) the provision of any medical or health services except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner,
Class D1(d) the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire),
Class D1(e) museum,
Class D1(f) public library or public reading room, and
Class D1(g) public hall or exhibition hall.

Use Class A2 - Financial And Professional Services

Changing to A2
If you are looking to change the use of a property to A2 to be used for financial & professional services you may or may not need to apply for planning permission, depending on whether there is are permitted change rights. For example, if the property in question is designated as an A3 restaurant, A4 pub or A5 hot food takeaway, it may be possible to change it to A2 without applying for change of use consent, subject to it meeting certain requirements.
To find out if you need planning permission for a change of use you can contact us and one of our consultants will be happy to go through the scheme with you. Changing any other property to A2 will always need planning permission.
Changing from A2
If the current designation of a property is A2 and you wish to change it to another use class, you will most likely need to apply for planning permission. In the event that your desired change is to A1 and the shop has a ground floor window display, you may be able to proceed with the change without applying for planning permission for the change of use.
We recommend that you determine early on whether planning permission is needed for a proposed change, as it may prove costly to apply once you have already taken a lease and set up the business. As planning consultants, we have successfully secured planning permission for many of our clients seeking to change the use of an A2 premises to A3 restaurants, B1 offices, D2 gym facilities and others.

Use Class A4 - Drinking Establishments

Do I need Planning Permission to change to A4 Usage?
A4 is use for:
(a) a public house,
(b) wine-bar,
(c) or any other drinking establishment
i.e premises where the primary purposes is the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks on the premises.
Permitted Change from A4
A1, A2 or A3


A5 is use for - The sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.

Do I need Planning Permission to change to A5 Usage?
A5 is use for:
The sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.
i.e. premises where the primary purpose is the sale of hot food to take away
Permitted Change from A5 Use Class
Properties that are designated as A5 planning usage can be changed to A1 Shops, A2 Financial and Professional Services or A3 Restaurant, providing that the application is of a satisfactory standard. Changes to other uses are certainly possible but will require substantial work to gain approval.
Matters To Consider when Changing to A5 Use Class
An application to change the use of a property to A5 to be used as a hot food-take away is likely to face several challenges.


Our team work closely with our clients, delivering both an expert and intuitive approach to their development. It is our intention to use our expertise to inform our clients and produce a service that delivers the intended design, function and value for money of both design and outcome. Although councils will attach great importance to the design and planning drawings and can refuse a development of poor design, their planning policies considerations and decisions can vary and there are many issues that need to be considered. Our vast experience in architectural design, planning and preparation of planning drawings, allows our team to articulate any findings within the development process to achieve effective results.

C1 is use as:

(a) hotel
(b) boarding house
(c) guest house
(d) hostel
In each case, no significant element of care is provided.
No permitted Change from C1 Use Class

Use Class C2 Residential Institutions
C2 is use as Provision of residential accommodation and care to people in need of care (other than a use within class C3 - dwelling houses).
A hospital or nursing home.
A residential school, college or training centre.

Use Class C3 Dwellings, Houses, Flats, Apartments
a dwelling house (whether or not as a sole or main residence)
(a) by a single person or by people living together as a family, or
(b) by not more than 6 residents living together as a single household (including a household where care is provided for residents).
No permitted Change from C3 Use Class

Use Class C4 Houses in Multiple Occupation
C4 usage is use as:
Small shared dwelling houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.


Use Class D1 Non Residential Institutions

(a) Clinics and Health Centres (for the provision of any medical or health services except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner)
(b) as a crèche, day nursery or day centre
(c) for the provision of education
(d) for the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire)
(e) as a museum
(f) as a public library or public reading room
(g) as a public hall or exhibition hall
(h) for, or in connection with, public worship or religious instruction
(i) non- residential education and training centres
In each case, no significant element of care is provided.
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Use Class D2 Assembly and Leisure
(a) a cinema,
(b) a concert hall,
(c) a bingo hall or casino,
(d) a dance hall,
(e) a swimming bath, skating rink, gymnasium or area for other indoor or outdoor sports or recreations, not involving motorised vehicles or firearms.
Sui Generis
Sui Generis use includes:
(a) theatres
(b) casinos
(c) houses in multiple paying occupation
(d) hostels providing no significant element of care
(e) scrap yards
(f) Petrol filling stations
(g) shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles
(h) Retail warehouse clubs
(i) nightclubs
(j) launderettes
(k) taxi businesses
(l) amusement centres

Change Of Use

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