HMOs and planning permission

If you are converting a residential house into an HMO comprising six or fewer persons, you will not need to apply for planning permission for a change of use unless the property has restrictive planning conditions prohibiting such a change. However, if you are doing additional work in order to make the house HMO ready – for example, adding an extension or a new dormer – then planning permission may be required. See the Planning Portal website for more information.

If you are converting a residential house to an HMO comprising seven or more persons, or adding a seventh or greater person to an existing HMO, or providing cooking facilities within the bedrooms, then you will need to apply online for change of use.

If you are converting a building that was not previously a residential house into an HMO, you may also require a change of use – see the Planning Portal for more information.

See any current planning applications and submit comments.

Article 4

On 6 September 2022, the Council voted to consult on an Article 4 designation to remove the permitted development right to change the use of a C3 property (“dwellinghouse”) to a C4 property (“house in multiple occupation”) within certain wards of the city. The Wards are: Cheylesmore, Earlsdon, Foleshill, Lower Stoke, Radford, St. Michaels, Sherbourne, Wainbody, Whoberley, Westwood and Upper Stoke. 

If the proposed designation is approved, it should come into effect on 13 September 2023.  Any person wishing to convert a residential house into an HMO within the affected wards will first need to make a change of use planning application, even if the HMO will have fewer than seven tenants.  Properties that are already in lawful use as HMOs with fewer than seven tenants will not need to make a planning application, though the landlord may wish to consider applying for a Lawful Development Certificate

If the Article 4 designation is implemented, this will have no bearing on existing HMO licences, or on future HMO licences for properties that were HMOs prior to the designation.  However, if we determine that a property is operating as an HMO without the benefit of the correct planning permission, we will only issue a one-year licence for that property, and will include a condition requiring that the correct permission is sought.  Please note that this is not a guarantee that planning permission will be granted. 

In addition, where a property is found to be operating without the correct planning permission, the Planning Enforcement team may take legal action against the owner.   

You can read more about the proposed designation, and respond to the consultation, on the Public Consultations webpage. The Consultation went live on Tuesday 20 September 2022 and will run until 15 November 2022. 

The Property Licensing Team is not able to provide any further information or answer any queries about the proposed Article 4 designation.  Please direct any queries to the Planning Policy team. 

HMO licensing

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street
Coventry
CV1 5RR

Telephone: 024 7697 5467