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:
Cornwall Council (Comes into force 16th June 2017)
Crawley Borough Council (Comes into force 1st October 2017)
We are currently awaiting a decision from the consultations of Stevenage, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org