self contained units with own council tax

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    self contained units with own council tax

    I viewed a property today which has been converted to two self contained units. They both pay there own council tax but utilities are common and paid by landlord. They are however not registered as independent dwellings.

    I wonder what will be the process to register them as independent dwellings and cost. Can someone guide or share the info ?

    They both pay there own council tax but utilities are common and paid by landlord. They are however not registered as independent dwellings.
    When the single property was converted into flats, so that the building then comprised two separate dwellings, the owner of the building must have contacted the local council about the conversion in order to have each flat valued for Council Tax purposes.

    Then the local council will have informed The Valuation Department of HMRC that two separate dwellings needed to be valued.

    That is the only reason why council tax is being paid on each of the flats.
    The Council would have only issued the demand for Council Tax after a valuation had been prepared by the Valuation Department and the council knew what bracket the flats were to be allocated into.
    That was probably Band A, which is the lowest band and is normally allocated to flats.

    The council tax bills should have separate addresses shown on each of them.
    Sometimes that would be First Floor Flat, 2 High Street and Ground Floor Flat, 2 High Street, or sometimes 2A High Street and 2B High Street.

    Either planning permission was granted following a planning application, or the two flats were created without obtaining planning permission.

    That would have been a breach of planning control, which could have been enforced against by the local planning authority anytime up to 4 years after the flats had been created.

    After 4 years use as separate dwellings that use became the lawful use under Planning law.

    Assuming that the original property was registered with Land Registry so that the Landlord is shown as the registered proprietor, the title plan for the property will just show a red line drawn around the whole of the property including the land around the building.
    There will be a freehold title allocated to that single property.

    Your query is how to register them as independent dwellings, but if you intend to continue renting them out to tenants there is no need to do anything once you become owner, since you will be shown as the registered proprietor on the register of title for what will remain as a single freehold title.

    Should you wish to sell off one or both of the flats that would be when you grant a lease to the person who wants to buy a flat from you.

    You would retain the freehold title and Land Registry would then register a separate Leasehold title in the name of the person who was granted the lease on the individual flat.
    The leasehold title plan would then show a red line drawn around the building and over the part of the garden included in the lease, but there would be a comment in the register of title stating that this was for the ground floor or the first floor of the building.
    e.g. "NOTE: Only the first floor flat is included in the title."

    If both flats were to be sold off, then you can decide whether there is any advantage in retaining ownership of the freehold title by charging ground rent, although often the freehold , which includes the responsibility of maintaining the building, is then transferred to the joint ownership of the two people who will each own a separate leasehold title.

    You then walk away after banking the profit from selling both flats, or you sell one flat to recover some of the capital cost of buying the single freehold property and rent out the second flat as a continual source of income.

    Those are the options available to you should you proceed with the purchase of this converted building.


      pilman , Many thanks for the detailed reply. Really helpful.


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