Ask the experts

Ask the experts

We look at some of the most common questions posed to our underwriters.

Q: Do you provide cover for change of use to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

A: Yes, and we now have a specific Lack of Planning policy available for HMOs.

Our policy is designed to protect against the risk of enforcement action being taken by the local authority, where planning permission was not obtained for the change of use of the property to an HMO.

An amendment to the planning laws in 2010 meant that changing a standard residential dwelling house (Class C3) to a Small House in Multiple Occupation (Class C4) would no longer require planning permission, unless the local authority has made an Article 4 Direction. Article 4 Directions vary between areas, but are generally used when a local authority still wants to carefully consider and control the effect of certain types of use or development in an area.

We typically receive enquiries where the use changed prior to 2010, or those after 2010 where a small HMO is located in an area under an Article 4 Direction; or where a large HMO is lacking the ‘full’ planning consent required.

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