Flat separated to two studios without planning permission

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    Flat separated to two studios without planning permission

    Hi, I'm currently renting a studio flat, and after being subjected to really invasive noise from the studio next door, I became interested in looking up building regulations relating to noise. The flats are above a shop, with another two studio flats upstairs. In the course of my searching I ended up on the local authority planning permissions website, which relealed that circa 2008, the studio I'm renting as well as the one next door were not partitioned, and made up a one bedroom flat, as did the two studios upstairs, and there have been no planning applications since.

    What is the law relating to separating a one bedroom flat into two studios without permission? My studio and the one next door share a front door and a lobby, and the property is still registered with the council as one flat, instead of two, so I'm guessing the landlord is only paying one set of council tax. The same applies for the flats upstairs.

    Can anything be done about this? I suspect the building job itself is dodgy, as the wall between my flat and the one next door is very thin, are their issues of noise and fire protection here?

    Sorry for the long post!

    #2
    There are two sets of people to contact:-

    1. the Building regulations dept of the local council

    2. the council tax part of revenues and benefits of the local council

    Both of these will have information relating to your property and will appreciate an update.

    Do you currently pay council tax directly to the council?



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

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      #3
      Originally posted by jeff82 View Post
      What is the law relating to separating a one bedroom flat into two studios without permission? My studio and the one next door share a front door and a lobby, and the property is still registered with the council as one flat, instead of two, so I'm guessing the landlord is only paying one set of council tax.
      Well, best case scenario is that the LL could be compelled to apply for planning permission retrospectively, and is granted it; however worst-case scenario is that PP is not forthcoming and he gets forced to reinstate things as they were. He's also evidently being very naughty about the council tax.


      I suspect the building job itself is dodgy, as the wall between my flat and the one next door is very thin, are their issues of noise and fire protection here?
      That's a separate issue from planning permission and relates to Building Regulations. He should have applied for that as well (it will also be available for public inspection via your council); it's possible he could have applied to Building Control but not planning permission, but I suspect unlikely. You're right that there could be safety/sound issues there - certainly when I did something similar they were pretty hot about getting enough sound insulation between the properties.

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        #4
        Do you currently pay council tax directly to the council?
        Council tax is included in the rent, so the landlord is paying it himself, presumably to keep it all under wraps.

        That's a separate issue from planning permission and relates to Building Regulations. He should have applied for that as well (it will also be available for public inspection via your council); it's possible he could have applied to Building Control but not planning permission, but I suspect unlikely. You're right that there could be safety/sound issues there - certainly when I did something similar they were pretty hot about getting enough sound insulation between the properties.
        If he applies for retrospective planning permission and gets it, but obviously the safety/noise issues remain, will he be required to correct these?

        Thanks for the replies.

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          #5
          If he got planning consent, he would still need to get Building Control approval of the conversion, which means complying with Building regs. It's possible that the works required to comply could not be done while the property is occupied.

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            #6
            A quick follow up question:

            If I report the landlord to the council for avoidance of council tax, will he be liable to pay it or will I? Bills including council tax are included in the rent, but this is not stated on the tenancy agreement.

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              #7
              The tenant is usually liable for council tax. What a moral dilemma!



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

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