In the UK, planning permission is required for certain types of property development, including changes of use from one type of property to another. One of the key factors in determining the planning status of a property is its use class. The use class system divides properties into categories based on their primary use, and determines whether planning permission is required for certain types of changes or developments.
Two of the most commonly referenced use classes in the UK are C3 and C4. Understanding the difference between these two use classes is important for anyone involved in property development, management, or investment. In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between C3 and C4 planning status in UK property.
C3 Planning Status
C3 planning status applies to properties that are used as private dwellings, either as a single dwelling or as a multiple-occupancy dwelling (i.e. a house or flat share). This includes houses, flats, maisonettes, and bungalows that are used solely for residential purposes.
C3 planning status also covers certain types of residential institutions, such as residential care homes for up to six people, and secure residential accommodation (e.g. detention centres). However, there are certain restrictions on the use of C3 properties for these purposes, and planning permission may be required in some cases.
C4 Planning Status
C4 planning status applies to properties that are used as small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). An HMO is defined as a property that is occupied by three or more people who are not part of the same household, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
Examples of properties that may have C4 planning status include shared houses, student accommodation, and some types of hostel or guest house. Properties with C4 planning status are subject to certain restrictions on their use, and planning permission is generally required for changes of use to C4.
The Difference Between C3 and C4
The main difference between C3 and C4 planning status is that C3 applies to properties used solely for residential purposes, while C4 applies to properties that are shared by multiple occupants. This means that properties with C4 planning status may have different requirements in terms of safety, amenities, and management.
For example, HMOs with C4 planning status are subject to additional regulations and licensing requirements designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of occupants. These requirements include mandatory fire safety measures, minimum room sizes, and restrictions on the number of occupants per room.
C4 properties may also be subject to more frequent inspections by local authorities, and landlords may be required to hold a special HMO licence in order to operate the property. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal action, or even criminal prosecution.
In contrast, properties with C3 planning status are generally subject to fewer regulations and requirements, as they are used solely for residential purposes. However, there are still certain regulations that apply to all residential properties, such as the requirement to provide a safe and habitable living environment for tenants. For a better understanding of the differences between c3 and c4 read here.
Impact on Property Investment
The planning status of a property can have a significant impact on its value and potential for investment. Properties with C3 planning status may be more attractive to investors looking for traditional residential properties, such as houses or apartments. These properties are likely to require less management and maintenance than HMOs, and may appeal to a wider range of tenants. Here at Aventine Property, we offer deal sourcing services- from initial research to property completion.
On the other hand, properties with C4 planning status may offer higher rental yields, as they are able to accommodate multiple occupants. However, these properties may also require more management and maintenance, as well as additional licensing and compliance requirements. Investors considering purchasing an HMO with C4 planning status should be prepared to invest time and resources in ensuring the property meets all necessary regulations and standards.