Landlord Alert

July 29, 2015 12:49 pm





Landlord Alert

Lincoln City Council is now registering an Article 4 Planning Direction as a Planning Charge on all of their Local Authority Search results.

This Direction relates to development comprising the change of use from a standard dwellinghouse which is within Class C3 of The Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1997 to the use of the dwelling to a house in multiple occupation which falls within Planning Use Class C4 of that Order, (known as a ‘HIMO’). The Direction removes permitted development rights for this type of development.

A copy of the Direction including a map defining the area covered by the Direction is available to download from Lincoln City Council’s website at

If the Direction is confirmed it will mean that Planning Permission will be required for a change of use from a dwellinghouse to a house in multiple occupation from 1st March 2016. It will not be applied retrospectively and therefore properties currently operating as houses in multiple occupation will be exempt.

The Direction is registered as a Planning Charge prior to being confirmed to make property purchasers aware of the potential for Planning Permission to be required. For a property to be exempt as a house in multiple occupation it must be occupied as such prior to 1st March 2016. It is not sufficient to have completed conversion works or to have declared the property as a house in multiple occupation. Clearly this is particularly relevant to Landlords who may be unable to secure occupants for student properties for the 2015/2016 academic year.

The Council are requesting that Landlords declare existing houses in multiple occupation to ensure that they are aware of the existence of these properties prior to a decision being made regarding the Article 4 Direction. Properties which are used interchangeably as houses in multiple occupation and as family houses should also be declared even if they are currently occupied by families as this could be considered as materially relevant to the Local Authority in ultimately determining whether to grant Planning Permission if it was required.

Landlords seeking to declare a property should complete the houses in multiple occupation declaration form which is available from Lincoln City Council’s website at


Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss this matter further;

Telephone us on 01522 687500 or email