Landlord adds £70,000 to the value of their student property


In 2021, one of the student properties that we manage was listed for sale at £420,000. However, the landlord couldn’t sell it as it didn’t have Article 4 planning permission which can be achieved by proving that the property was a HMO which had been let for a minimum of 10 years.

When a property does not have Article 4 planning a potential buyer cannot get a mortgage on the property. As such this landlord was unable to achieve market rate for the property and had to remove the property from the market despite lowering the asking price to entice cash buyers.

Our 4 step process that added £££’s to the value of this property:
  1. The landlord decided to instruct Philip James to apply for planning on their behalf. This was achieved as we had tenancy agreements in place going back over 10 years, proving the property had always been let as a HMO property. Philip James allocated staff to manage the whole planning application of behalf of the landlord from start to finish.
  2. A local solicitor in Didsbury was instructed to prepare a sworn affidavit stating the property had been let as a HMO for the past 10 years.
  3. We provided a thirty page document to the planning department to back up the application.
  4. It took 6 weeks to get the application approved.

The landlord was delighted with the positive outcome, saying: “I was initially really disappointment after learning I couldn’t progress with the sale of one of my HMO properties on a technicality due to another landlord. That said the performance of my managing agent Philip James was phenomenal with an immediate determination to complete the sale; a clear plan from the start and expert technical and legal advice on how to efficiently expedite the problem from my property manager. I’ve shared my experience online with fellow landlords as it’s refreshing to be so impressed by a property management company.”


It’s important to remember…

When a property is let as a HMO the rents are usually significantly higher than if the same property was let to family. HMO’s are appealing to students who want to live within easy reach of the cities many universities, where renting rooms really does pay dividends in Manchester’s busy rental market.

Article 4 Planning can be applied for when a landlord initially changes from a family home to a HMO or can it be applied for retrospectively (Lawful use planning). A landlord can do this by proving a property has been let as a HMO property for the past 10 years.

With planning in place this landlord can now list the property for sale on the open market to all buyers, both cash and mortgage. It’s expected that should the landlord decide to sell now, we will generate more competition for the property and therefore achieve a higher price.

Get in touch to find out how we can maximise your property investments!

Should you have any questions or find yourself in a similar situation with HMO properties, please call with Neil Ryder on 0161 434 5009 or email:
Philip James manage over 3000 properties including HMO’s, our focus is on protecting and maximising the return on investment for the landlords we look after.

You can find out more about the services we offer at Philip James by visiting:
Property Management
Student Landlords


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