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?