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What is a Sui Generis HMO?

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sui generis HMOs
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Gary Butterfield
Before I get into what makes Sui Generis planning unique, let me first go over the various planning classifications that are out there. When we are speaking specifically about HMOs, we will divide our planning into a few different categories. The planning classification that a typical family, or just a family in general, is considered to be a C3 family. That seems to be a fairly typical house for a family. When we change that, for example, to a home-sharing organisation with six people, its planning classification shifts to C4. Therefore, C4 would be a six-person HMO that we would frequently create; this would be a house that has a licence.
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What exactly is a Sui Generis HMO?

In the context of HMOs, a Sui Generis HMO is a property that houses seven or more unrelated people who share facilities like the kitchen or bathroom. Such properties automatically fall under the Sui Generis classification, as they exceed the limit for a standard HMO, which is classified as a C4 dwelling and accommodates between three to six tenants.

This category of HMO requires specific planning permissions, separate from smaller HMOs. The property owner must apply for a planning permission if they wish to convert a C4 dwelling (small HMO) or a dwelling house (C3) to a Sui Generis HMO.

Such properties often appeal to property investors due to their potential for increased profits. More tenants usually mean higher rental income, and the associated costs do not rise at the same rate as the number of occupants, often resulting in higher profit margins.

Remember, the rules and requirements can vary depending on the local authority, so always check with your local council's planning department before converting a property into a Sui Generis HMO.

According thew the UK Government, 'Your home is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

Your home is a large HMO if both of the following apply:

  • at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants'

Sui Generis HMO licencing

When it comes to licencing and planning, we are talking about two very distinct aspects of a business. In this article, I will be focusing on planning and the various classifications that fall under the umbrella of planning. When there are more than six people living in a house,In point of fact, it falls under an entirely new classification, which is known as "Sui Generis." Sui Generis is a Latin phrase that essentially means "of its own kind," or "in its own category," and refers to something that is classified in a manner that is distinct from other groups.

Therefore, there are additional properties that have the potential to be categorised as Sui Generis, but for the time being,The focus here is on health maintenance organisations, or HMOs. Therefore, if the number of people living in a property rises above six, then the property is considered to be a Sui Generis HMO. This classification is given automatically.

What is Sui Generis planning?

HMO Architect and sui generis planing expert Giovanni Patania says: 'Sui Generis Planning is a planning application for the Change Of Use of a property from one Use Class To Another under the Sui Generis category. Sui Generis Use Class includes non-standard buildings that don’t have a category for example theatres, nightclubs, hostels. HMOs with more than 6 occupants are classed as Sui Generis and need Sui Generis Planning'. So basically,

C3 and C4 Planning Use Classes

Now, here's the thing: you can't just take a family house, like C3, and turn it into a seven- or eight-person HMO. You can't. They move from C3 to C4 if they are going to create a six-person HMO, which is a common thing many people tend to do within the property industry where they are doing HMOs. If you were going to create an HMO for six people, you would need to move from C3 to C4. They will only move up to a maximum of six people at a time because, in many cases, this type of development is permitted. It indicates that you are free to switch from one planning category to another without the need to obtain prior approval from the relevant planning authorities. It is already permitted because the development in question is one that is permitted.

Article 4

If you are not located in a region covered by Article 4, then this does not apply to you. In a neighbourhood governed by article four, the local authorities have been given the authority, as of recently, to take away the permitted development rights that are attached to individual properties. At this time, properties come with a wide variety of permitted development rights, each of which allows for the construction of a specific type of structure. This is merely one example of the category that we are discussing. So what happens is that in article four areas, a local council takes away your ability to move from C3 to C4 and makes it impossible for you to do so. Because they want to keep a tight rein on the total number of HMOs in the vicinity. They don't want you to be able to make them whenever you like without their permission.

Now, as we work on constructing these houses of superior quality for a total of six people, including six working professionals, Because it is a larger property, we want to make sure that we can get as many rooms as we can out of it, which is why we might want to increase the number of available rooms to seven, eight, or even more. rooms of a respectable size and a high level of comfort overall. It's possible that you only want one couple in the room with you sometimes. Even though it has six bedrooms, there are now a total of seven people living there if you include one married couple.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, that is quite different from the point of view of licencing. You will still have the opportunity to obtain your long as everything is in full compliance, but in reality, you need to go through the process of getting planning approval in order to get permission to have seven people live in that house. You are now moving from C4, which is a house that can accommodate six people, to into this category of its own, known as Sui Generis.

Fun fact

Did you know?
The term "Sui Generis" is Latin for "of its own kind," signifying that this category is unique and distinct from others.

Why would we even consider doing Sui Generis?

As I already mentioned, one of the reasons is because,It could be a larger house, you just want to clarify that.get more people into, and once you've got them, continue.more people inhabiting the dwelling.

Increase HMO profits

Your expenses will not rise by as much as you might expect if you have more people.essentially implying that you have a greater profit.Therefore, a house with seven bedrooms will result in significantly increased profits, than, for example, a house with five bedrooms,because of the expenses associated with maintaining that propertytend to concentrate on the first two or three rooms of an establishment.and the remaining amount is considered profit.

Sui Generis designation

An additional justification for the Sui Generis designationis something that a great deal of investors are interested in.want to make an effort to do, in addition to achieving that classificationfor their properties is due to the fact that they are able toIn order to qualify for a loan, you should get a commercial evaluation.To clarify, what I mean by that is that you should treat it as if it were its own property.rather than saying that one of the properties that is adjacent to it.When it comes to the purposes of evaluation, therefore, they don't evaluate it like a traditional brick-and-mortar business.

Own Planning Classification Category

They typically approach it from a business point of view.because it is now its own distinct category in the planning process.So those are the explanations for why you'll find that people do those things.intend to transition into the Sui Generis classification.That best describes what they are, in essence.Therefore, in terms of how you go about doing that,In practise, you submit a request for planning permission to the local council.while you are in the process of creating the property.

If you're working in a region that isn't covered by Article 4, you are going to need a typical four-bedroom home. You are now in the C4 section, which has six people in it. That won't be a problem, you'll be able to handle that.without the approval of the planning department.

Changing from C3 or C4 to Sui Generis HMO

However, if you want to have seven people, for example, from C3 to Sui Generis is an impossible jump without a submitting a planning application, simply because there are no building permits available. The area between these two points is the only one that is permitted for development. Therefore, when you are submitting an application, for example,  a home for a family, and then let's say, have a total of seven people in this space, then you submit a fresh application for the planning permission that needs to be communicated to your planning department. If not, you could be at risk of enforcement action, which can lead to a hefty fine.

Additionally, your neighbours will be informed,And there is a reasonable possibility that it will. Your neighbours are not going to be over the moon with excitement, that there will be seven people residing in an HMO at the same time. Because HMOs are frequently associated with unfavourable connotations, ncorrectly, in my opinion, due to the fact that there are many extremely high standards for the accommodations. The general public has the impression that health maintenance organisations are of low quality.accommodations that are not up to standard. Now, I'm not denying their existence by any means, there is some truth to some of those assertions. However, in this day and age, there are a great deal of people who are provided with very high-quality accommodation and will shell out very significant sums of money for it.

HMO rental yields per calendar month

HMO rental yields per calendar month (PCM) can vary greatly based on where you are located in the UK, however in July 2023, the cost of renting a bedroom with shared bathroom and kitchen facilties in a Birmingham sui generis HMO typically starts at £300 PCM and goes up to £800 PCM. In London (England, UK), the cost of renting a bedroom with shared bathroom and kitchen faciltiesin a sui generis HMO typically starts at £500 PCM and goes up to £1000 PCM. Therefore, they anticipate staying in accommodations of a high quality. However, when you submit your application to the council,It's quite possible that it's one of your neighbours.are not going to be overly enthusiastic about it, as well as the planning department (LPA), which is not going to be very happy about it.

HMO number of people or occupants

They are not typically very supportive of one another.planning applications that are submitted from this location to this location.This is true in the majority of cases.Therefore, how you can go about doing this and achieving this:a little less difficult and a little bit more agreeable,is something that you do, first and foremost,You produce the C4 substance.You move on to step C4, where you establish the HMO for six people.That is finished, and it was a development that was permitted.There is no requirement for a planning commission.When everything is set up and running.

Planning objections to a HMO application

Your neighbours are likely to raise an objection because they are able to observe the situation. In point of fact, I urge you to extend an invitation to your neighbours and come on over to demonstrate the home, which is especially important if you're doingnice properties that are of a standard quality, in order for them to be able to see what you are doing, so that they don't have what could be described as a fear of the unknown. Then what you can do is make an application to the planning department for the alteration of the function of a property from C4 to Sui Generis by modifying it from C4 to Sui Generis, a group consisting of six to seven people. We recoomend using an experienced architect or planning consultant if your planning application for a change of use from C3 or C4 up to Sui Generis HMO get objections. You are not going to make any alterations to the property, are you? The work has been completed in its entirety. You are merely asking for permission at this point to have one more person call that home their permanent residence. This is a much more subtle shift than I had anticipated. There is no cause for alarm regarding the fact that there will be an HMO can be found on the street, in fact, it already exists. It is operational, and there is nothing else you need to do is requesting authorisation for the addition of one more person to be able to live in that particular property. Because of this, it now belongs in this category and each and every one of the advantages that we covered reasons why you may want to relocate to.

To begin, we'll use the Sui Generis classification system. Therefore, this is something that is typically much more agreeable, a considerably less difficult way to carry it out. There is no assurance that it will be successful each and every time, Nevertheless, based on my observations, It's a much simpler way to get the job done. Look, I really do hope that you find this information helpful. I am aware that some of the terminology may be confusing, It is not appropriate for someone who is possibly just starting out.

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What is a Sui Generis HMO?

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