Article 4 is here for most of Liverpool
On the 19th March 2021 the council approved the confirmation of Article 4, but delayed the introduction until the 17th June 2021. This is an odd date, given most student tenancies start on the 1st July. This article 4 direction covers the majority of Liverpool, with some small pockets excluded from the direction.
The council minutes are here
What does this mean for my property?
If your property is currently let as shared house of three or more tenants, and is let on the 17th June 2020, it means you already have use of the property as “C4”.
If your property is let to 2 sharers, or to a family, it is class “C3”. If you wish to let to more tenants (3 or more), you will need to get planning permission. It is unknown at this stage what view the local authority will take on this.
If you have a property under development and the prior use of the property was C3 but it is due to let as a C4 property after the 17th June 2020, it is strongly recommended you seek legal advice – especially with respect to planning inspectorate appeals that may assist in obtaining planning.
What does this mean for the future
It is very likely you will see a strong increase in demand for your property as there will be very limited further development of shared houses. Going by house prices in other cities with Article 4 directions you should also see increases in property value.
Can I still buy and convert property?
You will need to consider the impact of being rejected for planning in your purchase decision. Having a Plan B for any property purchase is essential.
If buying any property it is essential that you obtain proof of lawful use via a lawful development certificate, and make obtaining a lawful use certificate part of your purchase strategy.