HMO Article 4 Direction Areas in the UK: A Complete Guide

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When Article 4 was first rolled out in Bath, it caused a stir amongst HMO landlords. The implementation of Article 4 brought about new restrictions that required landlords to obtain planning permission before being granted an HMO license. This introduced the possibility of applications being declined, resulting in both the loss of time as the project underwent the planning phase and the financial burden associated with navigating the planning process. Additionally, it opened the potential for local communities to lodge appeals in order to contest and potentially overturn a granted application.

Since its founding in Bath, there are now numerous Article 4 Areas in the UK, and the plan is for it to be rolled into every city. We have written this guide to give you all the information you need about the primary Article 4 areas in the UK, and what Article 4 means for you in your city. Checking if your investment area falls under Article 4 is a key piece of due diligence for HMO landlords.

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What is Article 4, and how is it affecting HMO landlords?

In its simplest form, Article 4 grants greater authority to local governments, enabling them to decide the specific areas where HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) are permitted, dictating the permissible alterations to property features, and determining the approval or rejection of applications seeking property conversion into an HMO. Landlords must now engage in the planning process to convert a property into an HMO, adding an extra obstacle to the project.

Although the implementation of Article 4 Areas in the UK has benefits for local communities, meaning areas aren’t taken over and saturated with HMO properties, it does pose a challenge to HMO investors.

Firstly, going through the planning process can add months onto a project’s timeline, especially if an application is rejected and must be submitted. The planning process also opens projects to public scrutiny, meaning residents can appeal to have an application overturned.

There is an additional cost to all of this. A cost that must be carried by the landlord. If you’re already investing in HMO in a non-Article 4 area, then this legislation rolling out in your city will change the way you operate. If you haven’t invested in an HMO yet and you’re planning to, then this article will give you everything you need to prepare for Article 4 in your area and overcome any complications.

If you are interested in a more detailed guide on what Article 4 is and what it includes, then you can read our blog on

List of Article 4 Areas in the UK

Below is a comprehensive list of Article 4 areas, and everything you need to know if you’re looking to invest in the strategy in these cities.

Article 4 in Liverpool

The influence of Article 4 Directions is concentrated in specific zones within the city outlined by Liverpool City Council. These selected areas aim to address the effects of HMO conversions on the local housing landscape.

Areas in Liverpool Affected by Article 4 Directions:

A few of the areas in Liverpool affected by Article 4 are as follows:

  • Smithdown Road – Picton & Wavertree Wards
  • Greenbank
  • Kensington Fields
  • Picton – Stoneycroft & Wavertree Wards
  • Greenbank – Greenbank & Wavertree Wards

For the most up-to-date and accurate information about areas affected by Article 4 Directions in Liverpool, visit the Liverpool City Council Article 4 Directions page.

Article 4 in Leeds

Leeds is another area that has been affected by the implementation of Article 4. It’s a growing city with popular universities, hospitals and an abundance of industry. This has made it a hotspot for HMO properties. The Article 4 direction in Leeds aims to stop an oversupply of HMOs in the city’s outskirts and maintain a steadfast supply of residential housing.

Areas in Leeds Affected by Article 4 Directions:

The following zones have been selected by Leeds City Council as Article 4 areas within the city:

  • Adel and Wharfedale
  • Armley
  • Beeston Hill and Holbeck
  • Bramley and Stanningley
  • Burmantofts and Richmond Hill
  • Chapel Allerton
  • City and Hunslet
  • Gipton and Harehills
  • Headingley
  • Horsforth
  • Hyde Park and Woodhouse
  • Kirkstall
  • Moortown
  • Roundhay and Weetwood

For the latest and most accurate insights about areas affected by Article 4 Directions in Leeds, we recommend exploring the Leeds City Council Article 4 Directions page.

Article 4 in Birmingham

Birmingham is a sprawling city with a diverse population. Areas, like Selly Oak, boast high-value properties in a particularly high-income area. On the other hand, Edgbaston is home to the University of Birmingham, which has made it a popular hotspot for HMOs offering accommodation to students.

This has made Birmingham a premium spot for the implementation of Article 4, with the following areas being most affected.

Areas in Birmingham Affected by Article 4 Directions:

  • Austin Village
  • Bournville Village
  • Edgbaston (part)
  • Greenfield road
  • High Street Sutton Coldfield
  • Moor Pool Harborne
  • Moseley
  • Old Yardley
  • Selly Park
  • Selly Park Avenues
  • St Agnes

To stay up to date on the latest changes regarding the Article 4 direction in Birmingham, and to view the numerous resources offered by Birmingham City Council, we recommend viewing their web page on the topic

Article 4 in Wolverhampton

On the 14th of September 2017, Article 4 came into effect across the whole of Wolverhampton. All wards within the city are Article 4 areas, meaning that planning permission must be gained before a property can be converted into or used as a house in multiple occupation.

Areas in Wolverhampton Affected by Article 4 Direction

The whole of Wolverhampton falls under the Article 4 Direction. The wheels of this plan were set in motion in 2016 when The City of Wolverhampton Council made a Direction under Article 4. You can read a copy of the Article 4 Direction in Wolverhampton by clicking here or viewing the council website on the subject here.

Article 4 in London

London, the capital of England, is an obvious choice for Article 4. London has notoriously high house prices, having its own ‘housing bubble’ that makes owning property close to impossible for the average income household. It is because of this that HMOs are an obvious choice for people looking to live in the city. They offer cheaper accommodation than renting a whole property, which is also highly expensive in both central London and the surrounding areas.

Because property investors know that HMOs are needed in London, they become a popular investment strategy. The direction of Article 4 in London means that the supply of residential housing and apartments won’t dwindle into nothingness.

Areas in London Affected by Article 4 Directions:

Due to the city’s vastness and the diversity of its boroughs, specific affected areas can vary widely.

For an in-depth review about the areas affected, we recommend reading our dedicated guide on Article 4 Directions in London. Moreover, you can typically find information the specific Article 4 Directions, including affected areas, maps and updates, on the respective websites of London’s borough councils.

Article 4 in Manchester

Manchester is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the whole of England. It’s a hotspot for industry, home to a renowned university and hosts over half a million residents. Manchester’s rising population has made it a target for HMO landlords, with a vast selection of tenants to pick from and a huge demand for shared accommodation.

Areas in Manchester Affected by Article 4 Directions:

Article 4 has been rolled out across various boroughs in Manchester to keep HMO properties under control and ensure that there is still an even spread of residential houses.

Given the diversity of Manchester’s neighbourhoods and districts, the specific affected areas can vary significantly.

For the most up-to-date insights into the areas impacted by Article 4 directions in Manchester, visit the website of the specific Manchester borough council that your investment hotspot lies under.

Article 4 in Nottingham

Nottingham is another area that has been affected by Article 4. The measures outlined in this city have been designed to protect its cultural and historical aspects, as well as to prevent an under-supply of residential housing.

Areas in Nottingham Affected by Article 4 Directions:

The following areas have been chosen by Nottingham City Council as zones where Article 4 applies to HMO properties:

  • Devonshire promenade
  • Foxhall road
  • Sneinton
  • Strelley village
  • Waterloo promenade
  • Wellington terrace

To stay updated on the latest changes in Nottingham, including new areas that are being added to the Article 4 register, visit the Nottingham County Council web page on HMO restrictions.

Article 4 in Sheffield

Sheffield was once known for its steelworks and contributions to England’s industry. Since the closing of the steel mills, it has become popular for its rich history, universities and growing city centre. Although it boasts the cheap rental prices of the north of England, HMOs are still a popular option due to the areas student population and high numbers of working professionals.

This has made Sheffield another area that has fallen under Article 4 restrictions, which has forced investors in the area to change the way they operate.

Areas in Sheffield Affected by Article 4 Directions:

It is mainly the West and South-West of Sheffield have been affected by Article 4 so far. This includes areas like Broomfield, Sharrow Vale and Tapton Hill. For more specific details on which areas fall under the direction of Article 4 in Sheffield, view the map on Sheffield City Council’s website.

Article 4 in Leicester

Article 4 was first introduced in Leicester in as early as 2014. At the time, it was mainly areas surrounding the De Montfort University Campus and Leicester Royal Infirmary, where HMO properties were becoming increasingly popular due to the high density of students and NHS workers.

In 2021, a proposal was put forward to push the Article 4 Direction further so that it covered the West End Zone, covering most of the districts that reside in this area.

Areas in Leicester Affected by Article 4 Directions:

Since its implementation in 2014, Article 4 has spread across the city, now covering the following areas:

  • Ashleigh Road Conservation Area
  • Aylestone Village Conservation Area (40-42 Old Church Street)
  • Belgrave Hall Conservation Area
  • Castle Conservation Area (15-21 The Newarke)
  • Evington Footpath Conservation Area
  • Loughborough Road Conservation Area (Shaftesbury Avenue)
  • New Walk Conservation Area (Holy Trinity: the area bounded by Regent Road, Welford Road, Lancaster Road and Waterloo Way)
  • South Highfields Conservation Area
  • Spinney Hill Park Conservation Area
  • Stoneygate Conservation Area
  • Westcotes Drive (West End Conservation Area)
  • 201-247 Aylestone Road
  • 2 Upperton Road, former CPH Building
  • Abbey Park Street, Former Shonki Building
  • Abbey Mills
  • 122 – 132 Belgrave Gate, 1 Garden Street
  • 53 Oxford Street

It is not uncommon for local councils to extend the domain of Article 4, and it is likely that Leicester will add more areas to the list in the near future. To keep on top of any updates on the Article 4 Direction in Leicester, or to get more guidance on which areas are already affected, check the Leicester City Council webpage on the subject here.

Overcome Article 4 with an experienced team of HMO specialists

As specialists in all things HMO, we are on a mission to help landlords overcome the hurdle of Article 4 so that they can continue to grow a profitable property portfolio. To discover everything you need to know as an HMO landlord, including guidance on Article 4, the planning process, and design ideas,

To work with an experienced team of planning specialists who can give you the permissions you need to build or convert your next HMO property, view our full planning service and book your free discovery call.

Picture of Giovanni Patania

Giovanni Patania

(Architect Director, Co-Founder)

Giovanni Patania is the Lead Architect and Co-Founder at HMO Architect and Windsor Patania Architects.

Originally from Siena, Italy, Giovanni worked as a Project Lead Architect at Foster+ Partners, designing Apple stores across the world,

An HMO Investor himself, Giovanni understands property thoroughly, both from an investor's perspective and technically, as an Architect.

With over 15 years of HMO development experience, working on over 150+ HMOs and a 95% Planning and Building Regulation success rate, Giovanni has the expertise and credentials to help you on your HMO journey."

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