Can this property be a single dwelling house

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    Can this property be a single dwelling house

    Single dwelling houses contrary to blocks of flats are entitled to permitted development right

    I have found out the following about a property:

    • There is a woman and a man living in this property.
    • The woman is the only freehold of the property with no mortgagor
    • According to the title register the ground floor is leased by two parties: one party is the woman and the other party is the woman and the man
    • According to the title register the first floor is leased by two parties. One party is the woman and the other party is the woman and the man.
    • It is important to note that the ground floor and the first floor are leased separately with different Title Registry number at the land registry and with two different mortgagors
    • The third floor is not leased
    • So three there are three title registers in the Land Registry for this property one for the entire property, one of the ground floor and one for the second floor.

    In these conditions can this property be a single dwellinghouse giving rights to permitted development for the following reasons:

    • It seems to me that there are two dwellings in this property one made up of the ground floor and the first floor occupied by the woman and the man and if the third floor occupied only by the woman
    • Legally the man does not have any right to occupied the third floor and can be prevented at any time by the woman from going in it
    • The man is the tenant and the woman is the landlord (her lessor)
    • There should be two ‘lease agreements’ between the freehold the woman and the man who is the leasehold so it is a commercial relationship but not a familial relationship [/SIZE]

    A building subject to 2 leaseholds seems to be a block of flats to me.


      I would like to add that in a section 106 agreement signed by both the man and the woman concerning this property the man gives as address only the ground and the first floor and the woman gives as address the number of the street of the property i.e. the entire property


        On the pretext of possibly engaging them as your conveyancing solicitor you should be able to get a definitive answer from a legal professional as part of their initial free advice.


          Thank you. You have given me a good idea to get free legal advice. However I have not too much time to look for a solicitor specialised in this matter because it takes a lot of time to do so because there are not a lot of them. Moreover I am not really looking for legal advice but more for friendly advice


            Ok. But are you really going to commit finances from some matey advice from an anonymous forum.??? As compared to (in my opinion only obviously) an easy to find conveyancing solicitor.

            This forum often gives good advice, usually from personal experience but there are also some lawyers present. But the question you ask surely means legal advice would be better than 'friendly advice' which even though given in good faith may be right, but may be wrong.

            The question you ask requires a definitive answer, not an opinion.


              None of the facts mentioned are relevant to determining whether a building is one dwelling house or two. Land law and planning law are quite distinct and operate without reference to each other and rarely impinge on each other. Who owns what and in what capacity is a question of title and has no bearing on whether there has been a breach of planning control. That has to be the case because otherwise it is implicit in the OP's question that it would all be all right if the building was in a single ownership without any tenants.

              Under planning law "development" is "the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land". Whether there has been development can be determined by inspection and enquiring into the history of the site.

              Ignoring when any development was carried out, the key question to be answered is whether the two flats are a single dwelling. As to that I said elsewhere:

              Whether a building or part of a building is a single dwelling house is essentially something which can be determined by inspection rather than asking who occupies it. "Dwelling house" and "household" are two distinct things. A single dwelling house can be occupied by more than one household and a single household can occupy more than one dwellinghouse. There is little point here enquiring what "dwelling house" means. The definition has to depend on context. Broadly there are two ways of looking at it. One is to ask whether the building or part of the building was designed or has been adapted to provide living space and the other is to ask whether the building or part of it is actually being used as living space. Neither approach helps here because whichever question you ask you will get the answer that the space in question is designed or occupied as living space. The starting point to answer the question: Are these two parts of the building which at one time were definitely two distinct flats now a single dwelling house? is to take a common sense approach which is likely to give you the answer in most cases. There are though always going to be cases which will leave you scratching your head and it seems like you may have one here. It is sometimes the case that a court has to side with those who are too clever for their own good.


                I would like to have a first idea about this issue it is why I have posted this thread. Legal advice will maybe come later but I am not still at this stage.

                This woman and this man claimed that they had to occupy all the building because they have a growing family which needs more space. In this condition why the man has leased two of the three floors when they were already living together?

                It is not a question of ownership because we all agree that it could not be a single dwelling house if several flats are rented out. Moreover it is entirely floors which are leased and not only part of them.


                  The reply of ‘Lawcruncher’ is very interesting but it is too complicated. I think that we have to see this issue in a more simplistic way. A single dwelling house means I think that all the occupiers have a right to use the entire buildings (there could be some lodgers but lodgers do not rent entire floors). The man has chosen to lease only two of the three floors so by doing so has he not deprived himself from any right concerning the second floor?

                  Moreover as I say in my previous post we all agree that a building could not be a single dwelling house if separate flats are rented within it. However in this case as a matter of fact two of three floors are rented out because there are different leasehold on each of them

                  It seems to me that there are three dwellings: the ground floor which is leasehold, the first floor which is different leasehold and the second floor which is freehold


                    I think that we have to take a practical view of this issue. A block of flats is a building where some occupiers of the building have the right to occupy some parts of the building and other occupiers have the right to occupy other parts of the building. And a single dwelling house is a building where all occupiers have the right to use the entire building. However in this case the man has no right to use the second floor so it is a block of flat and not a single dwelling house. Am I right or wrong?


                      You appear to have discounted Lawcruncher, one of our experts and are talking to yourself.

                      Just speak to a solicitor, much easier.


                        Originally posted by andybenw View Post
                        You appear to have discounted Lawcruncher, one of our experts and are talking to yourself.

                        Just speak to a solicitor, much easier.
                        Agree, Lawcruncher sums it up pretty well I think.

                        If I own a house rent out the top floor to one family, the ground floor to another family and the basement to a third family it is still a 'dwelling house' with 3 households with exclusive occupation of their respective parts. That's pretty simple to me.


                          The issue is not whether or not it is a “dwelling house” but whether or not it is a “single dwelling house”

                          I have not discounted Lawcruncher but only added some information to what he already said. I carry on thinking that in a single dweeling house all occupiers have the same right to occupy the building but if this right has been restristred by several lease for some occupiers it is a block of flats


                            I have found the following definition in the Internet

                            CROSS LEASE SUBDIVISION
                            A cross-lease is a means of obtaining a title for a share in the ownership of a piece of land and a lease of a dwelling on that land. The joint owners effectively lease the buildings to one another. Each owner holds a "composite" certificate of title which records the land-share plus the lease. The lease is for a period of 999 years and the share corresponds to the number of dwelling units. The cross-lease plan shows the dwellings as "flats" and is often called a "Flats Plan".

                            Does this means that the fact that there are two leaseholds is evidence that there are two dwelling units which proves that it is a not a single dwelling house?


                              This property contained two flats one in the ground floor and another flat made up of the first and second floor.

                              I have discovered that the ground floor flat was subject to a Section 106 agreement prohibiting its occupiers from applying for a parking permit and that there is a previous planning condition which says that a Section 106 is necessary about this issue.

                              What happened to this Section 106 when this property was amalgamated into a single dwelling house?

                              Does this mean that this propriety could not be a single dwelling house because of this section 106 agreement because if it was a single dwelling house the occupiers of the first floor and of the second floor will be also occupiers of the ground floor? Hence occupiers of the ground floor will be able to apply for a parking permit what this section 106 agreement prohibits
                              This will means that resident of this ground floor could get a planning permit because they are also resident of the upper floors whose resident are entitled to a parking permit
                              Hence people will be allowed to reside in this ground floor and at the same time benefit from a parking permit contrary to this section 106

                              This Section 106 was not discharged when this property was amalgamated so it was still valid so can we say that for this reason this residential unit in the ground floor was still here and it could not have disappeared by being amalgamated?

                              Does planning permission would have been necessary to amalgamate this property into a single dwelling house because of this Section 106 agreement and as a consequence the planning department was wrong to grant a lawful development certificate to amalgamate this property into a single dwelling without planning permission? In this case would not a planning permission been necessary with a new planning condition and a new Section 106 agreement?


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