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Using holiday home as permanent home
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# 1
elljay
Old 05-06-2008, 11:08 AM
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Default Using holiday home as permanent home

Hi, I live in an area with masses of holiday cottages/rentals but a real shortage of small homes to buy or let. It's easy to get planning to convert a barn into small holiday units but impossible to do the same for permanent homes. I was wondering how much the planning authorities check up on whether the planning was being adhered to - do they ask for returns? or spy to see if there's a different car there each week? And what happens if the owner sells the cottages?

A lot of these houses stand empty for much of the year, it seems absolutely immoral to me when young people are moving out of rural areas - one young man I know of who works on his fathers farm had to move 8 miles into the town to live and commutes each day because his father couldn't convert a barn into a flat for him. It's so wrong.

So how much checking up goes on, does anyone know?

Liz
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# 2
PasturesNew
Old 05-06-2008, 11:39 AM
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They will check up - but also, the neighbours will know - and never underestimate the power of a neighbour dobbing you in.

If it's on a site, you won't own the land it stands on - you'll be renting that. And the site owner has a vested interest to ensure that the planning permissions are rigorously adhered to (or they could have the park shut down).

If it were that easy .... it will already have been done by everybody for the last 10+ years.
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# 3
elljay
Old 05-06-2008, 11:50 AM
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Not sure about the neighbours, getting one over the national park is a regular pastime round here!! but there will always be one! I wondered though how much they might turn a blind eye, bearing in mind the shortage of affordable homes..

Some friends have converted a couple of barns into really nice little houses, and there are loads of others around, as I said, often empty, certainly in the winter. It seems so wrong when young people are desperate for starter homes.

Liz
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# 4
silvercar
Old 05-06-2008, 11:59 AM
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If you are thinking of buying a holiday home as a permneant residence, you will face a problem getting a mortgage with that restriction on it.
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# 5
elljay
Old 05-06-2008, 12:20 PM
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No I wasn't, I rent at the moment quite happily. I suppose it was a philosophical/political question more than a personal one really - there was publicity yesterday about the lack of affordable homes in Wales and it's the same in other areas, but loads of unused holiday lets. It just seems so wrong that I wondered how much the planners check up on who is living in them, and how they do, and following on, how easy it is to change the planning so they can be used for permanent lets. How long is a 'holiday' anyway?

Liz
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# 6
PasturesNew
Old 05-06-2008, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elljay View Post
how easy it is to change the planning so they can be used for permanent lets. How long is a 'holiday' anyway?
If they had been able to get proper/full planning in the first instance they'd have done that at the outset. Permission for holiday use varies on a plan-by-plan basis. Some are 10 months then the electricity/water is cut off. Some you can only stay continuously in for 8 weeks. Others have varying rules/regulations anywhere in between.

If it were possibly to attempt a permission "upgrade" at a future point, it would have been done by people before.

Holiday home planning permission is given to property that wouldn't get planning permission to build homes on because it's not right/in keeping with/decided as undesirable, so the holiday use just allows the local economy to benefit in some way. It stops the cute holiday places becoming an urban sprawl.

Also, holiday homes are a business, not residential.

A site in Cornwall where people tried to live sneakily: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20...ietysupplement
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# 7
angelavdavis
Old 05-06-2008, 1:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elljay View Post
Hi, I live in an area with masses of holiday cottages/rentals but a real shortage of small homes to buy or let. It's easy to get planning to convert a barn into small holiday units but impossible to do the same for permanent homes. I was wondering how much the planning authorities check up on whether the planning was being adhered to - do they ask for returns? or spy to see if there's a different car there each week? And what happens if the owner sells the cottages?

A lot of these houses stand empty for much of the year, it seems absolutely immoral to me when young people are moving out of rural areas - one young man I know of who works on his fathers farm had to move 8 miles into the town to live and commutes each day because his father couldn't convert a barn into a flat for him. It's so wrong.

So how much checking up goes on, does anyone know?

Liz
Hi Liz,

I live in a similar area and basically, to qualify as a holiday home, the property can only be lived in for a maximum of x amount of weeks of the year ( I think its about 40 but you will need to confirm). Therefore, if you can move out of the property for a few weeks every year you are legally entitled to stay there.

You will need to check the conditions when you purchase such a property.
Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!
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# 8
Trollfever
Old 05-06-2008, 2:06 PM
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Quote:
A lot of these houses stand empty for much of the year,
Patience.

A lot of second/holiday homes were bought with borrowed money.

The party is now over.
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# 9
Debt_Free_Chick
Old 06-06-2008, 7:19 AM
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The planning restriction is on the owner of the property, not the occupier. So the landlord would need to agree that you can live in the property "permanently". As he's the one that would face any enforcement action, he's unlikely to agree. Anyway, you wouldn't get an AST if there's a planning restriction on occupation e.g. if the restriction is that you can't occupy for more than 8 weeks, you wouldn't get an AST for 6 months.
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# 10
elljay
Old 06-06-2008, 7:40 AM
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Thanks, yes I understand. Around here there seem to be several informal arrangements in operation,- friends or friends of friends or someone from the village staying long term in holiday lets. I suppose informal arrangements like these can't be policed anyway, especially if they're not formal tenancies. For example someone I know moved into a holiday let while waiting for their own house to be sold, and ended up just staying on - over 2 years now. It's in the middle of the village and everyone knows but no-one is bothered, why should they? Obviously there's no security or comeback either way but it seems to work fine.

It seems as though that sort of arrangement is the way forward, it should be a crime to allow a property to be empty.
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# 11
Captain Mainwaring
Old 06-06-2008, 7:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elljay View Post
Thanks, yes I understand. Around here there seem to be several informal arrangements in operation,- friends or friends of friends or someone from the village staying long term in holiday lets. I suppose informal arrangements like these can't be policed anyway, especially if they're not formal tenancies. For example someone I know moved into a holiday let while waiting for their own house to be sold, and ended up just staying on - over 2 years now. It's in the middle of the village and everyone knows but no-one is bothered, why should they? Obviously there's no security or comeback either way but it seems to work fine.

It seems as though that sort of arrangement is the way forward, it should be a crime to allow a property to be empty.
Because it is human nature (particularly in the UK) for people to stick their great big hooters into other peoples business.

Please remember that your idea of a holiday home and a nice place to live may well be purgatory for someone else. Fortunately we still have the right to buy something like a car or a house and only use it as and when we wish.
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# 12
Debt_Free_Chick
Old 06-06-2008, 8:57 AM
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Originally Posted by elljay View Post
For example someone I know moved into a holiday let while waiting for their own house to be sold, and ended up just staying on - over 2 years now. It's in the middle of the village and everyone knows but no-one is bothered, why should they?
Some people will "care" as using a holiday home in this way can lead to the creation of a new residential dwelling in an area where the planning policies restrict new dwellings e.g. National Park, AONB etc.

Create too many new dwellings and - potentially - you open the floodgates to new development. This is the main reason why the properties only have PP for restricted use - it prevents sprawling development in an area which has been given protection against development. Hence, many people will report unauthorised occupation.

I do agree with you though - the buildings are there already. I'm struggling to find a rental property in a rural area .... in an AONB .... so I know exactly what you mean!
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# 13
elljay
Old 06-06-2008, 9:01 AM
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Maybe but with young people no longer able to find anywhere affordable to live in this area and the ridiculous example of the son having to commute from the town to his father's farm even though his father is quite happy to convert a barn into a house for him, it seems really wrong that the planners don't allow permanent rentals and good that some holiday landlords are prepared to enter into arrangements to both help themselves with year round rent and help others seeking accommodation.
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# 14
elljay
Old 06-06-2008, 9:15 AM
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sorry Debt_Free_Chick, I didn't see your message before sending mine. I wish you all luck in your search, it wasn't easy for me either but I am supremely grateful that I can live where I am.

As you say the buildings I'm talking about are already there but because there are so many of them they are often for weeks or months on end. The national park's recently published development plan has made the locals furious as it concentrates too much on the visitor side of things to the detriment of the locals, most of whom have lived and worked here for generations and before the invention of national parks, aonbs and the rest.

I hope you find somewhere soon, but when you do I think it's really important to contribute to local life, shops, churches, organisations etc, there are plenty of commuters who are never around during the week.

Last edited by elljay; 06-06-2008 at 9:18 AM. Reason: I wrote nonsense!
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# 15
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:17 AM
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I hope you find somewhere soon, but when you do I think it's really important to contribute to local life, shops, churches, organisations etc, there are plenty of commuters who are never around during the week.
Agree completely. I work from home two days a week, am the Parish Council Clerk, edit the Parish Magazine, open/close the Church, help with Church fundraising an organised the Fete two years ago But you're right - many contribute nothing. There are a few (though not many) that I've never even met/spoken to!

We have a wonderful and strong community spirit which is why I want to stay here ... and it's breathtakingly beautiful ... at least, to my eye.
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# 16
lostinrates
Old 06-06-2008, 10:57 AM
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OK, well, for contibuting. I am staying with my parents. My dad is a weekender, my mother lives here fulltime.

I returned home last year while my husband was completing a contract abroad I consider my self a temporary resident. Every year my father donates the main prize to the village raffle (which raises loads) and my mother and I when I am here bake like billyo for the cake stalls at the fete, the garden sales. We also contribute to all the other village events, though rarely attend or tend to pop in for a drink an show face. Te other weekenders or work in londons also contribute a lot (not least use of grounds for events and money). In previous years when I was living in London I would come down for the fete (though not te other events) and bring cakes or stuff for the bric and brac stall and every year I have been in the county I have manned a stall at this thing. I agree its sad when village spirit is lost but I think its really sad when the village cuts off the 'incomers' and makes them feel like NOT contributing. In fact, in our village and our previous two villages I think the 'part time in londoners' all contributed MOST in time because they were keen to live the dream. I appreciate it isn't always so but as someone who also loves village life it oes make me frustrated when this divide occurs.
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# 17
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Old 06-06-2008, 3:50 PM
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the son having to commute from the town to his father's farm even though his father is quite happy to convert a barn into a house for him,
There are special rules in relation to agricultural workers - perhaps he could look into those?
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# 18
Madmel
Old 06-06-2008, 7:24 PM
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We own a holiday cottage, but before anyone starts to criticise, it is the original stable & creamery which are attached to our house & unable to be sold on separately.

According to the original planning permission, we can let 52 weeks per year but any individual let can only last a maximum of 14 weeks. Over the winter, some of the holiday parks here close up. They have people who live in the static caravans for 9 months of the year, and so for the winter, they book into the holiday cottages for a 3 month (13 week) let whilst the parks are shut. We are in a AONB too.
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