Article 4: The Lowdown

17/09/2017

Although it came into force on 10th February 2012, many Landlords can find themselves unsure on the meaning of this legislation. We're here to help!

An overview of what the Article 4 Direction means for Leeds Landlords.

So what is an Article 4 Direction? In essence, it's a direction made by the local planning authority designed to make sure that there is a good balance of different accommodation available in Leeds and to ensure that no area is too densely populated. It does this by dictating what can and can't be developed in certain areas, and restricts the number of HMO's in any given area.

In this case, the Article 4 Direction refers to change of use Classes for HMO's (houses in multiple occupancy). It means that properties, within the specified area, need to obtain planning permission if they wanted to convert a Class C3 dwellinghouse into a Class C4 HMO.

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The idea of the Article 4 Direction is to make sure that there are enough HMO's available but not too many. It's a balancing act. To manage this, the Local Planning Authority has drawn a boundary on a map and everything within the boundary needs planning permission for a change of Class to an HMO.

The map with the boundary can be seen on the LLC website here and covers the following wards: Adel and Wharfedale, Armley, Beeston Hill and Holbeck, Bramley and Stanningley, Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, Chapel Allerton, City and Hunslet, Gipton and Harehills, Headingley, Horsforth, Hyde Park and Woodhouse, Kirkstall, Moortown, Roundhay and Weetwood.

A Class C3 dwellinghouse is defined as a property occupied by people who form a single household, so in the majority of cases, this is essentially a family home. A Class C4 HMO is a house or flat occupied by 3 or more unrelated people who share basic amenities (e.g. a communal kitchen / bathroom).

If you are an Investor or Landlord, and you wanted to create a HMO, for example letting the property to a group of unrelated professionals or students, whether on joint tenancies or single tenancies, within the specified boundary set by Leeds City Council, you will now need to apply for planning permission to do so via Leeds City Council.

For more detailed information click here to read the full FAQs on the LCC website.

HMO's are important to any city, because they provide an affordable form of housing, particularly for young people, those on lower incomes and students. Obviously, as a city with a huge student population, this is particularly important for Leeds!

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