Although Article 4 Direction came into force 7 years ago in 2012, all these years later, many Landlords and property developers who are looking to convert single properties into shares units, can still find themselves unsure of what this legislation means for them. Here we hope to clear it up for you.
What is Article 4?
Article 4 is a legislation put into place by the local authority, designed to make sure that there is a good balance of different types of accommodation available in Leeds and to ensure that no area is too densely populated. It does this by deciding what can and cant be developed and restricts the number of HMO (Home of Multiple Occupancy) in any given area.
The Article 4 Direction, has eliminated the ability to change a Class 3 property (a dwelling house occupied by a family unit), to a Class 4 property (Home of multiple occupancy) in particular areas of leeds. If you are wanting to develop an HMO, or let out a family home as an HMO in the restricted areas of Leeds, you must apply for planning permission from Leeds City Council.
Where is this legislation in place?
The Leeds Local Authority have created an Article 4 boundary map in which everything within the selected area need planning permission for a change of Class 3 property to Class 4. Areas which tend to have a much higher student HMOs and few dwelling houses, such as Headingley, Hyde Park, and Woodhouse, can be found within the boundary. By requiring Landlords and developers to seek planning permission before changing a property, this means that there will be a more regulated and balanced community of families and students, without the areas becoming too over saturated by one type of demographic.
How do you apply?
To change a property to a Class 4 in any of the wards in which Article 4 Direction is applicable, you must first make an application for planning permission via Leeds City Council. The application is free but usually takes around 8 weeks to come through.
Leeds is a thriving university City, so HMOs are equally as important as family homes, so please don’t be deterred by this legislation.