Planning permission required for renting property with three or more sharers!

publication date: Apr 19, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

URGENT: Planning permission required for renting property with three or more sharers!

Latest news from the government is a ridiculous, classic ‘ivory tower’ legislation that is going to cause chaos for local authorities, landlords and tenants.

The new rules are:-

From 6th April 2010, any property rented to three or more unrelated sharers, forming two or more households, may well require planning permission which can take up to eight weeks to secure.

Kate Faulkner, property expert and author of Which? Renting and Letting says “This legislation is the most likely to catch out buy to let investors that invest in isolation rather than use a professional network” Kate continues, “all landlords need to either contact their letting agent, email us on and/or talk to the local authority as we are finding different housing officers and planners are interpreting the rules differently.”

For example, some local authorities are saying that it won’t affect properties that have currently been let out to three or more sharers, it will only affect new buy to let properties.

Kate is worried about this legislation. “HMO licencing and selective licencing has already been introduced and there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that this has worked to help areas improve so far. Expansion of this legislation to more properties, will only make the job of enforcement at a local level more complicated and it is likely budget cuts in the future will mean that legislation is introduced that the local authority doesn’t have the resources to enforce or manage increased applications”.

To date, the government has introduced some great legislation that protects tenants, however they are not allowing time for this to work, nor are they checking that it has worked before coming out with the latest changes. Requiring planning permission for three or more sharers may be the right way to stop ‘student ghettos’ but no-one seems to have realised that it is likely to restrict supply to key workers such as nurses, teachers, the police and firemen who often share homes, but may, due to the new rules find themselves with little or no choice of properties to rent.

For more information, visit the following websites or contact us at or tel 0845 838 1763:-

Planning Portal

National Landlords Association

Landlord Law

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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