New planning rules for shared houses in England Changes to take effect from 6 April 2010

Apr 6th 2010

The Government is introducing a new Planning Use Class for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
From 6 April 2010 any residential property let to three or more unrelated sharers, forming two or more households, will be deemed to be an HMO in planning law. This includes shared houses, flats and bedsits, whether the occupiers have signed one tenancy agreement or have individual tenancy agreements.

A new Use Class 'C4 Houses in Multiple Occupation' has been created. This will apply to residential property that is to be let to between three to six unrelated people sharing amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

The rules for larger HMOs, (seven or more unrelated sharers), still apply.

This means that from 6 April 2010 landlords will be required to get planning permission if they intend to let a family home as a shared house to three or more unrelated people.

The new rules will not be applied retrospectively to existing shared housing.