Houses in multiple occupation - article 4 direction
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Houses in multiple occupation - article 4 direction

National legislation offers local authorities the ability to manage the distribution of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) more effectively. There is a need for more HMOs to provide an affordable form of housing, particularly for young people, those on lower incomes and students. However, the aim is to use planning control to prevent communities from becoming imbalanced with extreme concentrations of HMOs which can have negative effects on communities.

Leeds City Council, along with many others across the UK has introduced an Article 4 Direction. The Direction came into force on 10 February, 2012. It means that within the defined area, planning permission is required to convert a Class C3 dwellinghouse into a Class C4 house in multiple occupation.

The Article 4 Direction area will help to manage the existing areas of high concentration and those areas which are predicted to either experience growth of HMOs in the near future, or which are likely to suffer from a displacement of HMO demand from the areas currently experiencing significant problems.

The Direction will apply across part or the whole of 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 map of the Article 4 Direction area and other useful documents, including Frequently Asked Questions are available to download from the expandable Documents section.​​

If you operate a HMO you may need a licence to do so. The granting of a HMO licence is governed by The Housing Act 2004 which is separate from planning legislation. As such, a decision to grant a HMO licence under the Housing Act 2004 will have no bearing on any decisions made in the planning process. 

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