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Turning an ex council house into a HMO - what is the legal process?

  1. Rachel from Hertfordshire
  2. Legal questions and answers


We are purchasing an ex council house to let and would like to turn it into a HMO. We have been in touch with the council to get the restrictive covenant varied and they have come back with a price including legal fees. How does the process work when purchasing with a mortgage. I am assuming the lender will want the deeds changed before lending. What happens if we get this changed and the sale falls through? Also does the conveyancing solicitors have to do any work for this process?


The solicitors acting for you will not only need to liaise with the seller’s solicitors but also the council’s solicitors with regards to the removal of the covenant. You should check if the house in an area where article 4 direction has been made preventing HMOs, your local search by your solicitors will identify this.

The sale is not legally binding until exchange of contracts so this will need to be taken into account when liaising with the council and I’d suggest that nothing is completed with the council until exchange, and then completion can be set once the deed has been completed with the council to enable the lenders requirements to be satisfied.

Your conveyancer will probably charge an extra fee for this work. 

Taylor & Emmet LLP

Taylor & Emmet LLP

Taylor & Emmet LLP

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