Article 4 – news update
It has been over a year since Article 4 was introduced in the Dales area.
In that time we have seen a marked increase in the number of landlords seeking to add to their portfolio. Many have come with no knowledge of Article 4, and have found out the hard way, often during a purchase process, that they cannot use the property to let to a group of sharers. Some landlords have bought properties in the Article 4 area knowing about Article 4, and have taken a gamble on getting the use as C4 regularised through a Certificate of Lawful Use, or if challenged to have what is (hopefully) sufficient evidence of existing use. It is likely some landlords have purchased properties in the hope of not being challenged or noticed by the local authority, or having a certificate of lawful use application passed without scrutiny.
Our advice for landlords who are buying now is DO NOT buy in the Article 4 area (the Dales), UNLESS the property has the use category of C4 through a certificate of lawful use or granted planning permission. Any other purchase would carry risk that licensing would request proof of planning once you apply for a license, with the very real prospect of being refused a license on the basis of a lack of planning.
There is the potential for significant capital growth within the Article 4 area over coming years so you shouldn’t discount that area when buying, but it is essential you know what you are buying and that your purchase and use is compliant with licensing and planning laws.
Topproperty Services now offers an investment service helping landlords start or extend a property portfolio. Our advice extends to where to buy, what to buy, and crucially what not to buy. If you’d like more information we will be glad to help.