top of page

Can a HMO obtain a CIL self-build exemption?

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is one of the more complicated matters within the town planning system. There are many trip-wires and it can be easy to get lost within the regulations.

CIL is a charge per square metre on new development and can quickly result in tens of thousands of pounds being due with little warning. However, certain forms of relief and exemptions exist to reduce a CIL liability, these include:

  • Residential annexes and extensions exemptions,

  • Charitable relief,

  • Social housing relief, and

  • Self build exemptions - the subject of this Insight.

Self build exemptions are, similarly to the other exemptions and relief, subject to very specific requirements and depend heavily on the specific circumstances of the development. Regulation 54D specifically sets out the reasons why a self-build exemption may be withdrawn and includes any changes which result in the property not being. a self build dwelling or the letting out of the whole property. These are known as "disqualifying events".

Recently, Viable Placemaking were contacted by a homeowner who had obtained a self-build exemption for a new dwelling they intended to live in. However, they subsequently converted the property into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

In planning terms, HMOs are technically a different use to a family home and, therefore, the Council wrote to the applicant to say the self-build exemption had been withdrawn and a Demand Notice would be issued in 28 days.

It's important that if you receive a CIL Liability Notice or Demand Notice, that you consider your options quickly as possible, to ensure you do not close any doors, as some routes and strategies are time-sensitive.

Viable Placemaking conducted a comprehensive CIL Review and Strategy, which reviewed the history of the site and its current use in the context of the CIL Regulations. We concluded that, while the Council's approach was understandable, in the context of recent case law and legislation, no disqualifying event had occurred.

Viable Placemaking then wrote to the Council to make them aware of this legislation and provide further information to verify that the HMO was exempt from CIL as a self-build dwelling.

The Council then conducted a full review of all the information, with confirmed that the self-build exemption would be reinstated and £nil CIL would be charged.

As a town planning consultancy with a specialism in development economics and viability, Viable Placemaking have extensive experience navigating CIL and frequently conduct reviews and appeals on behalf of our clients. If you would like any assistance with CIL, please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team.


bottom of page