If you are seeking to convert your property into what is known as a HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) in order to rent it out as a commercial dwelling you will likely be making substantial internal modifications. Some of these internal changes can be done under permitted development laws however it is likely that you will require planning permission for your project.
In simple terms permitted development (PD) is development that the government agrees to you doing on your property without the need for applying formally for permission from your local council.
In most instances, however, although the works you are doing to the property may be permissible under PD, the creation of a HMO is classed as a ‘change of use’ in planning terms and as such requires planning consent.
Change of use from a Single Dwelling House to a HMO is only allowed under PD when less than three unrelated individuals will be living in the same property.
You should also be aware that some councils have what is known as an ‘Article 4 Direction’ in place for HMO’s which removes all permitted development rights for creating a HMO in your particular area.
It is therefore important that you check with your local guidelines to determine if this is the case. Although it is not a planning issue, it is important to note that HMO’s should generally be licensed, and as such, you should ensure that your building work complies with licensing requirements.