HMO issue - to object or not?

(8 Posts)
Northernlurker Sun 31-May-15 17:50:46

We live in a detached 4 bed. The house next door, similar size so 4th bedroom is very small, has recently sold. The buyers are charming local people who intend to use the house for their adult child and some friends to live in. All the proposed residents have some degree of disability. They will have support workers with them during the day and access to a warden service at night. The garage is to be converted in to a 4th decent size room. So far so good. I think this is the perfect house for young people living independently for the first time and we look forward to being good neighbours to them.

BUT - I hadn't realised they would need planning permission to change the house from a dwelling to a HMO and now dh and I are a bit perplexed. Not about these people and this use but about what happens after they move out. That might be decades or it could be 3-5 years. We have no plans at all to move, certainly for the next ten years, and I don't particularly want to find myself living next to a HMO with 4 occupants all with cars and diverse social lives. Equally though I don't want to object to the application because I know what the purpose of the house is for these people and fully support that. What to do.....

AgentProvocateur Sun 31-May-15 18:16:43

I don't think the HMO licence automatically stays with the house when it sells. The new owner would need to reapply. I have lived next door to a similar set-up to the one you describe, and it was absolutely fine. I think it will be fine as the residents have support workers. Where it doesn't work so well is when there is less support, and vulnerable residents can be taken advantage of by people looking for somewhere to sit and drink. False friends. The fact that the owners are local and parents to one of them would reassure me, and I certainly wouldn't object to the HMO application

Northernlurker Sun 31-May-15 18:58:40

Oh really? That's fine then. The planning application says it was for change of use from dwelling to HMO so we assumed that stayed in place whoever owned the house. If it's just these people then no worries at all.
I know what you mean about false friends and that's one of the reasons why this house is a good option for these people. It's a little bit out of the way. There are shops etc that they can walk to but otherwise it will be nice and quiet so hopefully less risk of them running in to people who will take advantage of them. We already have the phone numbers for the parents so can ring if we see anything that worries us from that pov too.

lalalonglegs Sun 31-May-15 20:52:31

I'm not sure that is the case. I know a property developer who buys houses suitable for conversion to HMOs, does the work, gets the licence, then sells onto investors. I believe a HMO licence can be withdrawn if there are complaints but I dodon't think they are automatically invalidated by a change of ownership. I'd speak to your planning office, if I were you.

ItsJustPaint Sun 31-May-15 21:20:40

No I don't think that's right either.

The one house I know about which sold recently ( for what seemed a low price) the new owner was unable to get the single private dwelling licence returned and it seriously devalued his property. I think this is common in areas with a housing shortage.

Now any devaluation should t affect yours. Tbh , I don't know what I'd do in this position. Chat to your council first would be my advice

AgentProvocateur Sun 31-May-15 21:40:51

Ah, sorry -it's maybe different in Scotland.

What happens when an owner sells their property or dies?
2.2.24 Section 136 of the 2006 Act states that an existing HMO licence transfers to the new owner of a licensed property and lasts for one month from the date of purchase, provided that the new owner is already entered on the local authority’s register of landlords. If the new owner submits a licence application before the end of that month, the licence will continue in force until that application is determined. If the new owner is not a registered landlord, the licence expires on the date that ownership transfers.

Northernlurker Sun 31-May-15 22:15:11

Thanks. Will speak to the planning department.

ICantDecideOnAUsername Sun 31-May-15 22:31:54

Planning is different to a hmo licence. In some areas you can change to a small hmo without planning permission but still need a licence.
Are you sure it was for an hmo? If there is an element of care it should be for a different use (cant remember the use class) and it would restrict in to that in the future, not to a standard hmo where students or whatever can live there.

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