HMOs video guide​ – Part 5 – enforcement

Welcome to Part 5 of our 6-part video guide to planning and HMOs!

In this video, we look at planning enforcement – the council’s power to require you to reverse a development or change of use that has been carried out without planning permission.

Don’t assume that this won’t happen to you! Every year honest, well-intentioned landlords and developers run into enforcement problems.

In fact, it is very easy for a HMO landlord to run into enforcement problems by mistake – increasing the number of occupiers or being unaware of a new Article 4 direction can get you into hot water. Enforcement teams are also targeting HMOs that have been running for decades, but never had formal planning consent. 

Most planning enforcement investigations are triggered by neighbour complaints (so keep your neighbours happy!) or, more recently, through HMO licence renewals.

It is important that you do not ignore an Enforcement Notice, if you receive one. Send it through to our planning consultants ( for some free advice.

For more on planning enforcement and HMOs, check out Martin Gaine’s book: