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Navigating the Article 4 Direction: A Guide for HMO Investors in Derby

Attention all investors in the Derby HMO market!

Big changes are on the horizon, with the proposed introduction of Article 4 Direction in 2025. But what does this mean for you? How will it impact your investments both before and after it comes into effect? Let’s dive into the details.

Understanding Article 4 Direction

First things first, what exactly is Article 4 Direction? In the realm of property investment, Article 4 Direction is a regulation that gives local authorities the power to restrict the conversion of residential properties into HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) without planning permission. In simpler terms, it means that you won’t be able to convert just any property into an HMO without going through the proper channels and obtaining approval from the local council.

Pre-Implementation Considerations

Before Article 4 Direction comes into effect, there are a few key considerations for investors in the Derby HMO market:

1. Assess Current Opportunities: Take stock of the properties you currently own or are considering investing in. Are they suitable for conversion into HMOs? If so, it might be worth expediting the conversion process before the regulations change.

2. Consult with Local Authorities: Get in touch with the local planning department to understand the current regulations and any impending changes. They can provide valuable insights into how Article 4 Direction will impact your investments.

3. Evaluate Investment Strategies: Consider how Article 4 Direction might influence your investment strategy. Will you focus on existing HMOs, pivot to other types of properties, or continue investing in HMOs but with a more strategic approach?

Post-Implementation Implications

Once Article 4 Direction is in effect, here’s what investors can expect:

1. Increased Competition: With restrictions on new HMO developments, the existing supply of HMO properties may become more valuable. This could lead to increased competition among investors vying for a limited pool of properties.

2. Focus on Quality: As obtaining planning permission becomes more challenging, investors may shift their focus towards improving the quality of existing HMO properties rather than seeking new conversions. Renovation and refurbishment projects could become more prevalent in the market.

3. Long-Term Stability: While Article 4 Direction may initially present hurdles for investors, it could also contribute to long-term stability in the Derby HMO market. By preventing the unchecked proliferation of HMOs, the regulation may help maintain property values and preserve the integrity of residential neighbourhoods.


In conclusion, the introduction of Article 4 Direction in the Derby HMO market represents a significant development for investors. While it may require adjustments to investment strategies and careful navigation of new regulations, it also presents opportunities for those willing to adapt. By staying informed, consulting with local authorities, and strategically planning investments, investors can continue to thrive in this evolving landscape.

Check out this webinar with the head of planning for Derby Council for more info.

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