Houses in Multiple Occupation
Houses in Multiple Occupation: Article 4 Direction
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a shared house where three or more unrelated people live and share basic facilities such as a kitchen and/or bathroom.
Planning permission will always be required for change of use from a house to a HMO where seven or more unrelated people will live.
Flats do not have any permitted development rights. Therefore any change of use from a flat to an HMO will require planning permission.
Planning permission is not normally required for change of use from a house to a HMO where three to six unrelated people will live.
However, in Hastings, we have an Article 4 Direction that came into effect on 2 July 2012 that removes these rights. This means planning permission is required for change of use from a house to a HMO where three to six unrelated people will live.
Article 4 Purpose
We recognise that well managed HMO's are useful in the range of housing available in the town to meet local needs. The purpose of the Article 4 Direction is not to stop HMO's altogether. It is to prevent there being too many in a single area in future.
The number of HMO's we allow in an area is defined in the Hastings Local Plan.
More information about Article 4 Directions can be found here.
Which properties are covered?
The Article 4 Direction covers the whole town, but does not include uses such as children's homes or care homes. Further information is available in the documents below.
Any change of use from a house to a HMO where three or more unrelated people live and share basic facilities such as a kitchen and/or bathroom will require planning permission.
Please contact us if you are not sure whether the Article 4 Direction applies to you. There may be a fee for your enquiry.
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