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City-Wide Article 4 Direction relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

The city council made a decision to introduce a city-wide Article 4 Direction, which came in to force on Monday 8 June 2020.

The direction means that throughout the city a planning application must be submitted for proposals to convert family houses (C3 use class) to small Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) accommodating between 3 and 6 people (C4 use class).

A 6-week period to publicise the city-wide direction took place between Thursday 6 June 2019 and Thursday 18 July 2019. Comments received during this period were considered at the council’s cabinet meeting on 17 December 2019 and Cabinet resolved at that meeting to confirm the new city-wide Article 4 Direction and the cancellation of the existing Selly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston Article 4 Direction, which is now covered by the city wide Article 4 Direction. A Planning Policy guidance document for this area was adopted in 2014 to inform decisions on planning applications for new HMOs. The guidance contained in this document continues to apply to this area and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Please note that certain properties are not classified as HMOs under national legislation, such as those managed by Registered Social Landlords, and therefore the planning requirements for these properties have not been changed by the city-wide Article 4 Direction. Read further information about this.

If you propose to convert a property to a HMO then please refer to the planning application process.

For any more general enquiries about the city-wide Article 4 Direction please email:

The following documents are available to download: