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Due to scheduled maintenance, our housing repairs service may be unavailable for periods from 5pm Friday 12 April to 9am Monday 15 April. To find out more about the section 114 notice, visit our section 114 page

Properties which are not considered to be HMOs

For planning purposes, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) fall in to two categories;

  • Small HMOs that accommodate between 3 and 6 people (C4 use class), or;
  • Large HMOs that accommodate 7 or more people (Sui Generis use class).

These categories are defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). Within this Order, C4 HMOs have the same meaning as that given in the Housing Act 2004. Schedule 14 of this Act identifies buildings which are not considered to be HMOs. This includes buildings which are controlled or managed by;

  • Registered social landlords and housing associations
  • Educational establishments
  • Religious communities
  • Public bodies such as local authorities, health authorities and the police.

Properties that are occupied by two people and where the owner and their family live in the property with no more than two other people (i.e. two tenants) are also excluded from the definition of HMOs.

Any property falling into the above categories cannot be identified as a HMO and therefore cannot be considered as falling within the C4 use class described above. There are three possible use class categories defined within the Use Classes Order which the above properties can be identified within:

  • C3(b) – for properties with no more than six residents living together as a single household and where care is provided for residents
  • C3(c) – for properties with no more than six residents living together as a single household where no care is provided to residents
  • Sui Generis, which is a category for any uses which do not fit within the other classes

To determine which of these use classes that these properties will fall within, and therefore whether such properties require planning approval, the following factors will be considered by the city council:

  1. Whether the occupants of a property live together as a single household (see below). If so then the property will be considered as either falling within C3(b) or C3(c) use.
  2. If one or more of the occupants are receiving care then the property will be considered as C3(b) use, if not then it will be considered as C3(c) use. Care meaning the provision of personal care for people in need by reason of old age, disablement, past or present dependence on alcohol or drugs, or past or present mental disorder.
  3. If none of the above applies, then it will be considered as a Sui Generis property.
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