Retrospective planning permission for a Sui Generis HMO

Updated on 15th April 2019 in Planning Permission
3 on 29th March 2018

I have a 9 bedroom HMO. The house was granted a 9-person HMO license last August. I previously had a license for 8 people for 2 years.
The HMO officer deemed the house to be suitable and had no concerns.

Unfortunately, I did not realise that I had to obtain planning permission for a ‘change of use’.  There has been no change to the property just an extra use of rooms.
I then made a retrospective planning application. The officers came round and queried the basement room windows which do comply with regulations.

In the end after months of going back and forth the planning officer said it was going to be refused, mainly on the grounds of neighbour opposition. Many of the letters assumed that a 9-bed HMO would just be full of people of low intelligence – addicts and criminals – which I find to be very insulting. I have a high-end HMO for Masters and PhD students and it is in very good condition – it is a beautiful Georgian house overlooking a park. It is in a fairly residential street although the rest of the area is full of HMO’s. It seems to be a ‘not in my back yard’ situation – many of the complaints were generic because they don’t know me or have ever met the tenants in the house. As a business person, this is quite a reduction in my income, so it is not particularly welcome. in my opinion any comings or goings are no more than a large family using the property. They only have one car.
The plans seem to be fine as she did not mention them.

I would like to be clear of my legal status here.  Can the planning department override an HMO license before it expires? Am I legal at the moment to have 9 tenants until the end of their tenancies which is 31st July 2018?
Obviously, I can appeal against the decision or I have the option to reduce the number of rooms.

Does the fact that I have an HMO license for 9 people have any weight regarding an appeal decision?

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0 on 13th July 2018

Hi Gina,

In answer to your question, according to “Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation in England” (of Communities and Local Government), the council may revoke the licence if it consider management of the HMO to be unsatisfactory or that the HMO is no longer suitable to house the number of occupiers. It should be noted that before taking away the licence the council must inform the landlord and the other relevant persons that it intends to do so and there must be a minimum period of 14 days for a response. The council must take into account any representations made before issuing its final decision. If the council might revoke the licence, you can appeal against that decision to a Residential Property Tribunal.

Besides, according to “Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation in England”, you are not allowed to commence proceeding to evict your current tenants in their tenancies.

The HMO licence does not confer any planning permission. If your planning application is refused, you can appeal against the council decision notice. When appealing or commenting on an appeal you need to consider government planning guidance and the relevant policies, hence, your appeal needs to explain why your proposal complies with these and appropriate grounding for appeal. Particularly, your appeal should express your views clearly, succinctly and logically.

The team at DAP with years of experience dealing with appeals will assist you with your appeal. We have several examples of where we have been successful in gaining approved appeals. You could find further information on planning appeals and our appeal cases via our website:


I hope this may help you.

Best regards,

Vi P

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0 on 24th October 2018

Hi Gina, Hope you’re well. I was wondering if you had any luck with your appeal since your post above. I am very interested as I am in the same situation as you were in March but the difference with me is that I haven’t obtained a HMO licence yet, that is pending with the team subject to planning permission. Please let me know. many thanks. Husnara

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0 on 15th April 2019


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