What is a Certificate of Lawful Use (COLU)
A COLU is a certificate provided by a local authority to confirm that you are using your property in a lawful way, i.e. have the correct ‘type’ of occupant, whether that be a family or individuals.
Do you need one?
If you let your property as a house of multiple occupation (HMO), and it is within an Article 4 designation area, you will most likely be required to provide a COLU in the following circumstances:
- If you wish to sell your property
- When you refinance your property
- When you apply for or re-new an HMO licence.
How do you apply?
Applications should be made through the planning process for your local authority. You will need to provide varying degrees of evidence depending on the local authority.
How long does it take?
Once the application is received by the local authority, they are required to respond within three months.
What evidence is required?
You will be required to prove the continuous use of your property as an HMO since the implementation of the specific Article 4 Direction.
This may include, floor plans/site plans, signed tenancy agreements, bank statements proving rental payments, sworn statements by you and your agent, and freedom of information requests regarding council tax. Depending on the local authority, you may also be required to erect a notice outside the property as part of the process.
If you don't think you have everything, don't worry, give us a call and we'll see how can help.
How much does it cost?
The charge for each local authority is slightly different, but normally around £400-£600.
How can Purple Frog help?
Our expert team can help you to understand if you need a certificate, and complete the application on your behalf. They know the process inside and out so are best placed to make sure your application is successful.
If you think you are missing any evidence, there are various things we can do, so please get in touch to see how we can help.
For a straightforward application, our fees are £595 per application including VAT.
The service includes:
- Collating tenancy agreements and tenant details from the start of the Article 4
- Obtaining additional supporting evidence
- Preparing statutory declarations
- Arranging the required site plans
- Completing the online application
- Processing payments
- Dealing with any follow up queries with the local authority
- Making freedom of information application requests if required, an additional charge will apply
- If the local authority requires a notice to be erected, an additional charge will apply
We can provide this service for properties across England and Wales.
If you'd like us to help, please complete the form below, or call 0333 003 2211.