Article 4 Directives and student (HMO) properties

What is an Article 4 Directive?

Article 4 Directive regulations were introduced by local councils to restrict the development of house share style properties.  This affects all shared properties housing between 3-6 occupiers, who are not related to one another.

For landlords considering purchasing in locations where the Article 4 Directive exists, the landlord could buy and develop a property, then be unable to use it as a student house share if planning permission is refused. The Government’s Planning Portal proves detailed advice in this regard via the following page:

Does Manchester Council have Article 4 Directives in place?

Yes, In Manchester you need planning permission to let a house out to more than two unrelated people, if the house is currently not used as a House in Multiple Occupation. 


Planning regulations set out the use classes which different types of land use fall within. In Manchester planning permission is needed for a change of use from a typical home for a single household to a property used as a ‘small’ - between three and six people sharing - House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

To find out more, visit:


Does Salford Council have Article 4 Directives in place?

No, not currently.


Does Bolton Council currently have Article 4 Directives in place?

In Bolton there are Article 4 Directions in place on the following sites:-

Barrow Bridge Conservation Area Cox Green Quarry 22 – 48 even and 49 Castle Croft Harwood 29 Shoreswood Belmont Way Ratcliffes Farm Wingates Lane 61 Riding Gate Harwood 14 – 40 Hindley Road Westhoughton Land to west of 421 Watergate Drive off Watergate Lane Car showroom junction Manchester Road/Raikes Lane

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