What Article 4 means for Landlords in Birmingham
From Monday June 8th, 2020, Landlords in Birmingham that want to convert homes into small HMOs will have to apply for planning permission under Article 4 Direction.
At the moment, Landlords only have to apply for conversions of properties with seven or more bedrooms.
The changes come as a result of a Birmingham City Council report in 2019 stating that there were at least 6,000 HMOs across the city, many of which were resulting in high levels of rubbish, over-parking and tenants that avoid being part of the local community.
Article 4 Direction currently exists in some areas of the city, covering Selly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston, however, during a meeting in December 2019, the Council agreed to introduce a city-wide Article 4 Direction on small HMOs from June 8th.
When Article 4 is in action, the council will consider rejecting applications that would result in HMOs accounting for 10% of homes within a 100m radius, result in a family home ‘sandwiched’ between two HMOs or where it would cause three or more continuous frontages of non-family homes.
What do Birmingham Landlords need to do?
Landlords who have an existing small HMO need to declare the property to Birmingham City Council by 7th June. This will include providing details of the address and any evidence to demonstrate that the property is in existing HMO use – such a signed tenancy agreement.
Landlords also have up until June 7th to undertake any developments to change the use of the property to small HMO under permitted development rights.
After this date, they will need to request planning permission if they want to develop a property into a small HMO with three to six occupants. Any small HMOs that have not been declared may require the owner to submit an application for a certificate of lawful use or retrospective planning approval.
On a more positive note…
Less demand and high supply is likely to push the price of rent up for tenants and increase the value of HMO’s in Birmingham. So, it could be a great time for Landlords to re-finance onto a better deal, especially as interest rates are currently low following the Bank of England reducing the base rate to 0.1%.
Additionally, Birmingham still remains one of the top UK property hotspots for investors in 2020 with a relatively short commute to London and unprecedented levels of investment and regeneration.
Ramsay & White is a specialist mortgage brokerage serving the specific finance needs of property investors across the UK.
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