Use Class C – Hotels, houses, HMOs, prisons, care homes etc.

Planning Use Class CUse Class C of the Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended) are generally locations where people sleep such as houses, hotels, residential institutions etc..  Note that the list on this page might alter from the original order as some subclasses have been removed and others added. Check out our changes of change of use table to see which Class C use classes enjoy permitted development rights.

The Use Class Order 2020 was an update to the Use Class Order 1987 and the changes are summarised here.

(Also see Use Class B, Use Class E, Use Class F1, Use Class F2 and Sui Generis)


Use Class C1

Use as a hotel or as a boarding or guest house where, in each case, no significant element of care is provided
(not hostels – see sui generis).
Could be Bed & Breakfast establishments (B&B)

Use Class C2

Residential institutions
Use for the provision of residential accommodation and care to people in need of care (other than a use within class C3 (dwelling houses)).
Use as a hospital or nursing home.
Use as a boarding school, residential college or residential training centre.

Use Class C2A

– Secure residential institutions
Use for the provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a
young offenders institution,
detention centre,
secure training centre,
custody centre,
short-term holding centre,
secure hospital,
secure local authority accommodation
or use as military barracks.

Use Class C3

Houses / Flats / Apartments / Bungalows etc.
Use as a dwellinghouse (whether or not as a sole or main residence) by—

C3(a) a single person or by people to be regarded as forming a single household
((a couple whether married or not, a person related to one another with members of the family of one of the couple to be treated as members of the family of the other),
an employer and certain domestic employees (such as an au pair, nanny, nurse, governess, servant, chauffeur, gardener, secretary and personal assistant),
a carer and the person receiving the care and a foster parent and foster child);

C3(b) not more than six residents living together as a single household where care is provided for residents
(e.g. supported housing schemes such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems);


C3(c) not more than six residents living together as a single household where no care is provided to residents
(other than a use within Class C4)
(allows for those groupings that do not fall within the C4 HMO definition, but which fell within the previous C3 use class, to be provided for i.e. a small religious community may fall into this section as could a homeowner who is living with a lodger).

Interpretation of Class C3
For the purposes of ClassC3(a) “single household” shall be construed in accordance with section 258 of the Housing Act 2004

Use Class C4

– Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
Use of a dwellinghouse by not more than six residents as a “house in multiple occupation”
(Small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom)

Interpretation of Class C4
For the purposes of Class C4 a “house in multiple occupation” does not include a converted block of flats to to which section 257 of the Housing Act 2004 applies but otherwise has the same meaning as in section 254 of the Housing Act 2004.


Other Uses

Note that Serviced accommodation or SA does not appear in any of the above Use Class C sections. This is because SA does not appear in the Use Class Order. Depending upon the local authority it might be Use Class C1 which is for guest houses or B&Bs; it might be Use Class C3 for a dwelling house; or it could be Sui Generis


Check out our changes of change of use table to see which Use Class C uses enjoy permitted development rights.


Where a property is in two use classes – then it will be classed as sui generis. The one exception is a building with Class E, sub-paragraph (g) & B2 use as long as the section allocated to B2 is not substantially increased.



Page Updated: 13th October 2023