HMO's will now required Planning Permission
The Government plans to require HMO accomodation to have planning permission after April 6, 2010.
If you are planning to convert an existing property to HMO then you will have to pay £335.00 and wait eight weeks (at a minimum) to receive planning permission before you can legally rent the property. This is in addition to requiring a HMO license (if the property has 5 or more occupants and 3 stories) which costs in the region of £500 or more.
If you want to let what has been a family house or flat to three or more unrelated people such as students/nurses, etc., you will need planning permission. If your property is already let you will lose the right to let out to sharers again without obtaining planning permission.
The justification for such draconian measures seems to be related to certain areas being "overwhelmed" with HMO property. Those areas the Government feels are too overcrowded with HMO properties will be denied planning permission.
In our opinion this smacks of the nanny state and social engineering. There are reasons why certain areas have more HMO properties, perhaps because they are close to universities or hospitals and have the required infrastructures to support students/nurses. Trying to move these people in to other areas where such infrastructure is not in place needs careful thought. Social "cleansing" - moving certain groups of people into different areas could be a step too far for the state involvement.
RLA members have reacted angrily to the new proposals and are asking landlords to write to their local MPs to complain about the new legislation. Let us know your thoughts.