Converting a house, but we don't own all of it..

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    Converting a house, but we don't own all of it..

    I own a flat, which is on the first and second floors (loft conversion on second floor) of an edwardian property. The downstairs flat is owned by someone else. My flat is 3 beds, and is very spacious, and I am looking at converting it into two properties, the first floor would be a sizeable 2 bed flat, the loft conversion would be a one bed flat. We have had informal advice that suggest the floor space element is not a problem. I own the freehold for my own property and also the freehold for the downstairs property. We have not yet consulted downstairs about our plans, but I expect them to object, primarily on the basis of noise on the stairway etc, although we will of course be consulting an architect/builder to look at noise reduction strategies.) I gather that, because we are looking to split the property we will need to change their lease because for example currently they pay half of any maintenance repair costs and with a third flat in the property they would pay one third instead. Their lease is at 74 years, so they may be interested to take the opportunity to extend it. My question is: If we can not agree to a mutually convenient solution with downstairs, what are their rights? Can they prevent us from going ahead? Can they stop us getting planning permission? Or can they refuse to agree to any changes to the lease, and does this make it impossible for us to grant leases for the other properties, or would we simply be able to stick with their existing lease even though they would then pay half and the other two flats two thirds of any costs? Can we leverage the fact that their lease is 74 years?


    I am not sure about the lease issues, but your neighbours cannot stop you getting planning permission, they can only object. Any planning objection needs to contain valid planning issues....that is, an objection in itself does not mean that a planning application will not be permitted.

    What you need to do is address all possible loopholes in your proposal... this is best done by looking at planning policy (see the Councils website) and there might also be conversion and sound insulation standards. As long as you comply with these you maximise the chance of a possible objection not having a detrimental effect...

    Best of luck with it!!!



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