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Licensing of HMOs should not be separate from granting of planning permission. Warwick District Council is consulting on linking these together

Dear all,

It’s been a particular bone of contention among members of the Lobby that licensing of HMOs is quite separate from the granting of planning permission, in England and Wales.  It can lead to a situation where a HMO quite legitimately has a licence – but does not have planning permission, indeed could be refused permission!  In Scotland and Northern Ireland, however, a HMO licence may be refused, if the HMO lacks planning permission.

However, apparently, the Government gave guidance on this issue last year, along with case law, in addition to specialist Counsel’s opinion – with the result that at least one local authority, Warwick District Council, is now consulting on linking planning and licensing together.  They propose two options, either withholding consideration of a HMO licence application until the property has planning permission, or issuing a temporary licence until a planning application has been considered.  For details, go to https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20163/private_housing/179/houses_in_multiple_occupation/3

Members may like to lobby their own local authority to consider a similar consultation.

Many thanks to members in Leamington Spa for their alert.