Article 4 Directions

Article 4 directions restrict permitted rights either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the local authority’s area. When an article 4 direction is in effect, a planning application may be require for development that would have otherwise been permitted. Where an article 4 direction is in operation relating to Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) landlords must gain planning permission before converting what was formerly a Class 3 house (a family home) to a Class 4 home (a HMO). It is up to the local authority whether they implement an article 4 direction, and existing shared houses are not affected.

We are currently compiling a list of Local Authorities that have Article 4 directions that affect HMOs, here are the ones we know of currently:

Ashford Borough Council 

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council 

Bath and North East Somerset Council 

Birmingham City Council 

Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council 

Bournemouth Borough Council 

Brighton and Hove City Council 

Bristol City Council 

Canterbury City Council 

Charnwood Borough Council 

Cheshire West and Cheshire 

City of York 

Cornwall Council 

Coventry City Council 

Crawley Borough Council (Comes into force 1st October 2017)

Daventry District Council 

Durham County Council 

Exeter City Council 

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Harlow Council

Hastings Borough Council 

Hull City Council

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

London Borough of Barnet 

London Borough of Haringey 

London Borough of Havering

London Borough of Hillingdon

London Borough of Hounslow 

Leeds City Council 

Leicester City Council

Lincoln City Council

Manchester City Council

Milton Keynes Council 

Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Newcastle-under-Lyme Council

Northampton Borough Council

Nottingham City Council

Oxford City Council

Plymouth City Council 

Portsmouth City Council 

Preston City Council

Rother District Council

Sheffield City Council

South Somerset District Council

South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

Southampton City Council 

Stevenage Borough Council (Comes into force 20th September 2017)

Sunderland City Council

Tendring District Council

Thanet District Council 

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Warwick District Council 

Waveney District Council

Welwyn Hatfield Council 

West Lancashire District Council 

Winchester City Council 

Worcester City Council 

York City Council 

We are currently awaiting a decision from the consultations of Wolverhampton, and Calderdale.

A local authority wishing to bring in an article 4 direction would have to give one years notice before the direction becomes effective, alongside running a consultation. Here you can access a template letter to reply to a local authority’s consultation, but if you do have any concerns regarding a consultation don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Campaigns Team.

We at The RLA believes these measures are generally the wrong legislation to deal with social problems perceived to be related to HMOs. Article 4 directions will stop landlords renting houses to families because they risk losing the existing rights to rent it out as a shared house, not change existing uses of HMOs when the Article 4 direction becomes effective so the number of HMOs will not reduce, and limit affordable housing popular with younger people.

If you know of any Article 4 directions not on the list or any new consultations please contact the Local Government Officer at