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Birmingham City Council introduces Article 4 direction

Article Posted - 10th January 2020

Birmingham City Council plans to introduce a city-wide Article 4 Direction from 8 June 2020 and will be cancelling existing directions on the same day in parts of Selly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston to avoid duplication.

The city council is encouraging landlords with existing small Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) to declare the addresses of their properties before the direction takes effect and evidence of their use using a tenancy agreement or internal photographs of the property.

The decision means that landlords will have until 7 June 2020 to undertake any developments to change the use of a house/ dwelling to small HMO under permitted development rights. After this date, landlords would be legally bound to request planning permission if they wanted to develop a property into a small HMO with three to six occupants forming two or more households. Any small HMOs that have not been declared may require the owner to submit an application for a certificate of lawful use or retrospective planning approval.

Landlords can make declarations of the existing small HMOs by clicking here and a copy of the proposed designated area can be accessed here. If you have any queries about the existing or new direction you can write to the council at Planning and Development, 1 Lancaster Circus, Birmingham, B4 7DJ, contact them on 0121 303 4529 or email them at

What you can do:

Landlords with existing small HMOs are encouraged to make their declarations before 8 June 2020 to avoid having to submit applications for retrospective planning approval or an application of lawful use. More information about the announcement can be found here.


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