Landlords Development

Liverpool’s Article 4 Directive: An Overview

So, you’re a landlord wanting to convert HMO properties in Liverpool and you keep hearing about Article 4 restrictions – but what are they? Where in Liverpool does it apply and what properties does it apply to? This article gives an introduction to Liverpool’s Article 4 Directive on HMO Conversions.*


Permitted Development and Use Classes

Previously, Liverpool enjoyed the permitted development rights (PDR) to convert residential single dwellings into Houses of Multiple Occupation. This meant that to change the use of a dwelling (C3) to a HMO (C4), planning permission would not be required.

It is important to note here that any HMOs of 7 or more occupants are classed by the planning system as ‘Sui Generis’. Conversion from a single dwelling to a Sui Generis HMO will always need planning permission.

Occupants Use Class Name
1-2 unrelated people C3 Dwellings, Houses, Flats & Apartments
3-6 unrelated people C4 Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
7+ unrelated people Sui Generis In a class of its own


Article 4 Implications

An Article 4 directive is part of planning legislation that allows councils to remove permitted development rights including changes of use. Since 17th June 2021, an Article 4 directive has been in place in Liverpool restricting the conversion of single dwellings into HMOs. Importantly, this only applies to certain areas of the city.


Which areas are affected?

The Article 4 restrictions on Liverpool HMO Conversions were only introduced in Wards of the city where HMO numbers had reached a certain level. These were:

  • Anfield
  • Central
  • Greenbank
  • Kensington And Fairfield
  • Picton
  • Princess Park
  • Riverside
  • Tuebrook and Stoneycroft
  • Wavertree

In addition, part of the following Wards are included:

  • Kirkdale Ward bounded by Leeds Street, Vauxhall Road, Ford Street and Scotland Road
  • Church Ward bounded by Heathfield Road, Queens Drive, Allerton Road and Rutherford Road


Liverpool HMO Article 4 Map

Liverpool HMO Article 4 map


*The contents of this article do not constitute formal professional advice. Planning regulations change over time and you should seek professional advice before making any key decisions around property purchases or conversions.
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