4/10 year rule on change of use of outbuilding to holiday let

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  • 4/10 year rule on change of use of outbuilding to holiday let

    Hi all, here's a question for you on the T&CP Act, apologies for my verbosity, I just can't help myself.

    We have a stone outbuilding with a slate roof (originally cow shed) around 20 feet from our home sharing the same driveway which we converted into a small one bedroom holiday let some 15 years ago. Apart from holiday lets, the family lived in it at one point, it has been used as accommodation for visiting relatives and is currently let on a short term tennancy. We did apply for planning but were turned down on the basis it was too small to be occupied, so in the Great British spirit, we just did it anyway raising the roof and adding a 1st floor in the process.

    Some weeks after applying for planning on another building, the planning officer who was dealing with the application served us with an enforcement notice because of the change of use.

    Now, as far as I understand the T&CP Act, 171B (3) should mean that all we need to do is prove that we first let this property more than ten years ago. Unfortunately, Mater is throwing a fit and has contacted a local estate agent who has very kindly offered to apply for planning for us at a cost of some £1200 (plus planning fee) and also drilled into her that the ten year rule does not apply because its not residential. I could argue further that this could be construed as a single dwelling house but, as we currently pay no council tax on this building (other than that which is paid for the main building - all one property), I would rather keep this as a question of whether enforcement action can be taken or not.

    Your thoughts and opinions are gratefully received!

  • mk1fan
    replied
    Does the letter not have 'Enforcement Notice' or similar in the subject line or at the top?

    That aside, it's not clear if you altered the building and then let it 15-years ago or started letting it and subsequently altered it.

    As pilman put it you have two-choices with regards to defence. If you intend to keep on letting it as a holiday let then you should use the second.

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  • Fluxocity
    replied
    Thanks for your response Pilman, we will do just that. Is the letter the enforcement notice or will that come at the end of the period of 6 weeks which they gave us to respond?

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  • pilman
    replied
    The first thing to do is to appeal the Enforcement Notice within the time limit allowed.

    You can then make two alternative legal arguments in the appeal statement.

    The first one is that this is use as a single dwelling and has been used as such for over 4 years.

    The second is that a change of use from an outbuilding to a use for holiday rentals occured more than 10 years ago so that use as a holiday rental is now lawful.

    It is less costly to make an appeal than to make a planning application and the appeal is decided by the Planning Inspectorate who consider points of law, rather than an application to the local council who have planning policies to consider that may have a prejudice against that type of development.

    Leave a comment:

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