Lawful Development Certificate

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    Lawful Development Certificate

    I have owned a leasehold flat above a shop for 13 years. It was marketed as a 2 bed flat but the loft room had been used as a studio so I rented it out as a self contained studio. The first floor had 2 rooms, a communal shower room plus a sink and washing machine in the hallway. There were kitchen cupboards/worktops and mini cookers in the 2 rooms. I rented it out as double rooms sharing those amenities. A disgruntled tenant reported me to HMO enforcement who issued me a hazard notice and told me that I needed to remove the washing machine from the hallway and create kitchen facilities. With no space to create a kitchen separate to the 2 rooms, I was left with no choice but to evict one tenant to make his room into a kitchen. At the point that I had only 2 tenants in the building, HMO enforcement closed the case. I am now applying for a Lawful Development Certificate for existing use based on the fact that the property has been like this for over 10 years. My planning consultant says I need to ask for one self-contained flat and a 2 bed HMO on first floor as that's been its genuine use. I have so many questions: Does that mean the loft studio will now be subject to Council Tax? How do I configure the first floor as there is no shared kitchen space? Will HMO still apply standards if I get another tenant? HMO room Standards in my area are only enforceable for 3+ tenants. So will they consider the tenant in the loft as the 3rd tenant again if I do get a LDC? Can I put small kitchenettes in each room as it won't fall under HMO standards? I will only have 2 tenants on the first floor? Can I put a kitchen in the now vacant room and only ever have one tenant on the first floor. He would in effect have the whole floor to himself. I have employed a planning consultant but I'd like to get other opinions. Thank you.

    #2
    Why don't you discuss this with planning at your local council or even the 'empty homes officer' - there will be one. People are desperate for accommodation but it must be legal. Al; councils have differing policies - go and find out what yours is. We can't tell from here.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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