Help Define Accommodation for LHA please

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    Help Define Accommodation for LHA please

    Can someone kindly advice how best to maximise L:HA for the following;

    I have a very large one-bedroom flat paying Council Tax Band A.

    I wish to split it into 4 units as follows;

    Unit 1 (all private) =
    Private Entrance
    Hall
    Kitchen
    Bathroom
    Bedroom/Lounge (approx 10sqm)
    Own Fuseboard and Coin Meter for electric

    Unit 2 (all private) =
    Private Entrance
    Kitchen
    Bathroom
    Bedroom/Lounge (approx 14sqm)
    Own Fuseboard and Coin Meter for electric


    Unit 3 (all private) =
    Private Entrance
    Kitchen
    Bathroom
    Bedroom/Lounge (approx 12sqm)
    ​​​​​​​Own Fuseboard and Coin Meter for electric


    Unit 4 (all private) =
    Private Entrance
    Kitchen/Bedroom/Lounge in one room (approx 10sqm)
    Bathroom
    ​​​​​​​Own Fuseboard and Coin Meter for electric


    If I opted for over 35s, would any of the above class as one-bedroom LHA or would they all be Shared LHA

    I dont believe they class as HMO ??

    Rather than issue a 6 month AST, can they be let as "holiday lets" on a rolling 4 week term ? (easier to get unit back if needed)

    Any suggestions and ideas too ?

    THANK YOU






    #2
    Two of them are only big enough for one adult.(with optional child under 10). (Statutory overcrowding, not LHA rules.) Selective licensing may impose larger minimums on combined use rooms.

    If anyone qualifies for LHA their private tenancy will be an AT or AST; you cannot avoid that by pretending it is is a holiday let. Holiday lets will need planing consent for that usage.

    Are the private entrances direct to the outside of the building?

    Remember you cannot charge more than cost price for electricity.

    If this is a flat, I would think there would be reasonable grounds for refusing consent to alter, given the massive increase in residents. If I were in another flat, I would certainly object to planning consent. Holiday lets are likely to be specific breaches of the lease.

    The new part won't be a section 257 HMO, as the work will need to be done to current building regulation standards. However, if the building as a whole was converted and to earlier than the 1991 standards I'm not sure if it will be required to be brought up to current standards, or, as a whole will be a section 257 HMO when the flats are let out. (I don't think part of a building can be a section 257 HMO; that was just for argument.)

    This whole project seems evidence of a need for a proper council house building programme.

    Comment


      #3
      The guideline minimum total size for studio flats in London is 37 square metres, so there is a good chance that none of these would get planning consent: https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Studio_flat

      Comment


        #4
        If the flat is leased, I can't imagine that the lease would allow this conversion.

        The property would be an HMO and would require all of the standard requirements for an HMO to be met - and the fire risk assessment might be tricky.

        It may also need planning consent for an HMO (and it might be in an area where new HMOs are not allowed).

        "Holiday lets" would become tenancies when someone lives in them (you can't live in a holiday let).
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Thank You for your replies.

          The space used to be 4 x very large en-suite hotel rooms 20 years ago and converted into a flat (a large one) around 10 years ago.

          It is not leasehold and does not have other flats above or adjacent to it - though there is one flat below but both aren't legally connected ie no lease, no ground rent etc

          There is one main entrance, a hallway and then a lockable front door to each unit.

          Electric meter will be set at cost - it is a way to keep rent down but stop people leaving heating on all day/night (unless they pay for it)

          I am wondering whether to go for LHA single person over 35 for each one but unsure if they qualify for shared or one-bed LHA.

          Comment


            #6
            Electric meter will have to be set at cost, you can't profit from selling on utilities.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              If the flat is leased, I can't imagine that the lease would allow this conversion.

              The property would be an HMO and would require all of the standard requirements for an HMO to be met - and the fire risk assessment might be tricky.

              It may also need planning consent for an HMO (and it might be in an area where new HMOs are not allowed).

              "Holiday lets" would become tenancies when someone lives in them (you can't live in a holiday let).
              Each of the units will have their own kitchen and bathroom and no areas are shared (other than the hall to each front door).

              I thought they had to share things like the lounge/kitchen/bathroom to be classed as a HMO ?

              Comment


                #8
                But it will still be one property, shared by four people which is an HMO.
                And they'll be sharing the hall (although that doesn't change anything).

                Assuming the tenants are on separate tenancy agreements, you'll be paying the single council tax that the property will attract.

                Unless you can convince the council to classify the converted units as four separate dwellings.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  The OP is going to have to change the council tax status anyway, as it is currently covered by business rates, as it is a hotel suite, not a flat.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The large flat is currently on Council Tax Band A (it was a part of the Hotel)

                    Ideally I want to keep it at that 1 x Council Tax and not have 4 units each on Band A.

                    The fully-enclosed units would rent easier as they are obviously private units.

                    Ideally, I want to make it simple for someone to stay there - so no council tax or bills for them (except coin meter at cost).

                    LHA shared is approx £67 here and 1-bed rate is £98.

                    If I have read it correctly, my self-contained units let to a single person over 35 on Universal Credit would achieve the £98 rate each (on Housing Benefit it would only be £67 each for the same person) - is that correct?



                    Comment

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