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    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 4:18 PM
    • 21Posts
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    Al44
    does the 4 year rule apply to Massionettes?
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:18 PM
    does the 4 year rule apply to Massionettes? 7th Jul 17 at 4:18 PM
    I have a large 5 bedroom massionette, I have divided it up into separate flats for rental purposes. However I have not gotten planning permission to do this, as it's all internal and I am not intending on selling the property at the moment.


    However I have heard about this "4 year rule" that states that if a property has been a certain way for 4 years or more you can apply for a certificate for it to stay that way for good.


    can anyone shed any more light on this law? and does it apply to a massionette?
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Jul 17, 4:26 PM
    • 40,155 Posts
    • 45,867 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:26 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:26 PM
    That applies to Planning Permission.

    This, I believe, is a change of use, so not the same (I may be wrong).

    Plus there should be several separate addresses applied for and I suspect that is outside the 4 year rule.

    Why would maisonettes be any different to any other buildings with regards to the law?

    You probably have an HMO, and that is an entirely different issue you need to consider, as well as the usual letting matters that doubtless you are complying with:

    * New landlords: advice, information & links

    I'd recommend you regularise your business.
    • jessex1990
    • By jessex1990 7th Jul 17, 4:40 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 73 Thanks
    jessex1990
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:40 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:40 PM
    Are there any shared communal areas such as kitchens or bathrooms? I once lived in a building that had 22 flats inside of it and they all used the main address - the shared kitchen, bathroom and laundrette made it classed as a HMO which you need to have a license from the council to run
    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 4:55 PM
    • 21 Posts
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    Al44
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:55 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:55 PM
    no they are all separate self contained flats now
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 7th Jul 17, 5:02 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:02 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:02 PM
    This sounds like a HMO and not separate flats so please clarify as the planning implications are completely different.

    If it is a masionette you will need planning permission to change to a HMO as masionettes do not have permitted development rights. It is not a criminal offence to do something without planning but I believe it is a criminal offence to not have a HMO licence. Applying for the HMO licence will require checks for planning approval. So I do not believe this is one you should try and keep under the radar for 4 years.
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 7th Jul 17, 5:05 PM
    • 63 Posts
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    lwhiteman88
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:05 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:05 PM
    I'm too slow to reply!

    If they are self contained flats even after 4 years you would not have had building regulation approval. Unless you have which I think is unlikely considering they should have checked for planning approval. After 4 years the planners can not take out enforcement action but building control can.

    I see building control being the big issue. It is not straight forward to just put separate walls to create separate units. The acoustic requirements alone are quite demanding. Separate meters, energy ratings etc etc. There is quite a list to make this compliant unless you have already done this?
    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 5:06 PM
    • 21 Posts
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    Al44
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:06 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:06 PM
    I have literally just divided my larger massionette property into 3 flats with their own seperate front doors within the property.

    so are you telling me that this wouldn't fly under the 4 year rule?
    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    • 21 Posts
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    Al44
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    I'm too slow to reply!

    If they are self contained flats even after 4 years you would not have had building regulation approval. Unless you have which I think is unlikely considering they should have checked for planning approval. After 4 years the planners can not take out enforcement action but building control can.

    I see building control being the big issue. It is not straight forward to just put separate walls to create separate units. The acoustic requirements alone are quite demanding. Separate meters, energy ratings etc etc. There is quite a list to make this compliant unless you have already done this?
    Originally posted by lwhiteman88
    I have complied with what the building control requirements would have been if i'd gone down the official route. however I haven't asked any permission in this case
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 7th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    I have literally just divided my larger massionette property into 3 flats with their own seperate front doors within the property.

    so are you telling me that this wouldn't fly under the 4 year rule?
    Originally posted by Al44
    There is no 4 year rule for Building Regulations. The 4 year rule applies to planning permission. Two very separate things. If you are intending to sell them in 4 years time you will likely have zero chance without these complying with Building Regulations. Adding some doors does not make these self-contained flats in the eyes of Building Regulations which is Law
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 7th Jul 17, 5:11 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    I have complied with what the building control requirements would have been if i'd gone down the official route. however I haven't asked any permission in this case
    Originally posted by Al44
    So how do you know you have complied without the relevant certification? Have you had Building Control round to inspect the works or are you relying on your builders say so?
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 7th Jul 17, 5:11 PM
    • 10,637 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    I look forward to seeing you on an episode of Slum Landlords and Nightmare Tenants.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 7th Jul 17, 5:22 PM
    • 9,177 Posts
    • 11,539 Thanks
    hazyjo
    What about utilities and council tax?
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies)
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Jul 17, 5:40 PM
    • 40,155 Posts
    • 45,867 Thanks
    G_M
    Ooooh! Council Tax will be fun once they cotton on......
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 7th Jul 17, 6:35 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 1,141 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    You have created multiple dwellings. Might be ten years rather than four. I hope you have a lot of money saved up for the bills that are coming your way when somebody twigs.
    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 6:44 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Al44
    I look forward to seeing you on an episode of Slum Landlords and Nightmare Tenants.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740

    Thats a horrible thing to say. I always treat people well in life, just trying to humbly move up in life financialy
    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 6:45 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Al44
    What about utilities and council tax?
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    All registered
    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 6:47 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Al44
    What about utilities and council tax?
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    So how do you know you have complied without the relevant certification? Have you had Building Control round to inspect the works or are you relying on your builders say so?
    Originally posted by lwhiteman88
    I had an expert round
    • Al44
    • By Al44 7th Jul 17, 6:48 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Al44
    so am I actually doing anything wrong by going after the 4 year rule?

    and will it work?
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 7th Jul 17, 7:17 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    so am I actually doing anything wrong by going after the 4 year rule?

    and will it work?
    Originally posted by Al44
    You need a completion certificate from Building Control. Having an expert round doesn't mean anything without the certificate.

    This would require 10 years until no enforcement action could be taken as there is a commercial gain and a change of use. The only situation where the 4 year rule applies is a change of use to a single dwelling house.

    Doing something without planning permission is not a criminal act, however if the council took enforcement action then it would be a criminal act to go against this. I would apply for planning permission unless you want this hanging over your head for 10 years.

    EDIT: and building regulation approval. You will now need a Regularisation certificate if the works are complete
    Last edited by lwhiteman88; 07-07-2017 at 7:23 PM. Reason: Extra
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 7th Jul 17, 7:38 PM
    • 54,381 Posts
    • 47,197 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    I have complied with what the building control requirements would have been if i'd gone down the official route. however I haven't asked any permission in this case
    Originally posted by Al44
    Then your insurance cover could potentially be void in the event of a claim.
    “ “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” Sir John Marks Templeton
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