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Housing: Multiple Occupation

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 18th February 2020.

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Photo of Paul Bristow Paul Bristow Conservative, Peterborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what powers are available to local authorities to prevent family homes being turned into houses of multiple occupation.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Change of use to a larger House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) housing more than six people always requires an application for planning permission. Such larger HMOs also require a license in order to operate.

For houses up to six people who share facilities, nationally set permitted development rights allow a dwellinghouse (C3) to change use to a House in Multiple Occupation (C4) without the need for a planning application. This enables the change of use without placing unnecessary burdens on landlords and local planning authorities.

Where there is sufficient evidence that it is necessary to protect local amenity or the well-being of the area, a local planning authority may withdraw a permitted development right in a specific area using an Article 4 direction, after consultation with the local community.

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