Can I let a log cabin in my garden?

by Readers Question

15:04 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Can I let a log cabin in my garden?

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Can I let a log cabin in my garden?

I have a 2 bed flat with an 85ft garden that has just become available for let. Before I re-let the property for £950 pcm, I was thinking about installing a log cabin at the bottom the garden and renting this out as a studio flat with small garden for £550pcm including bills. Can I let a log cabin in my garden

The log cabin would have its own access and there would be a fence between both properties. The existing flat would still have a 45ft garden and will still rent out for £950 pcm but this time including water, sewage and electric.

The cost to install and fit out log cabin is £6k and a further £3k to separate electric and water which can be done at a later date, hence I would need to pay all bills on both lets.

The question is……am I allowed to do this?

Would I need to inform council, building regs, freeholder of land and the 4 other flat owners?

Thanks

Sarah

 



Comments

Mark Alexander

15:08 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Hi Sarah

I suspect your first stumbling block will be the T&C's of your lease. I suggest you read it or pay a solicitor to read it for you with this question in mind.

If the lease permits I doubt the authorities would.

There has also been so much negativity with regards to "beds in sheds" that I suggest you read some of the news on Google - see >>> https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=beds+in+sheds&tbm=nws

In conclusion, probably not a good idea.
.

Adam Hosker

15:20 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Sounds like an excellent plan! the worry is councils dont like "Beds in Shed" so id get on the phone first and find out what planning etc is needed from the Log Cabbin Provider and the Council.

16:05 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

It's a good idea but, as Adam says, Councils are very against these type of temporary structures being used for extra permanent housing.

Many landlords have been heavily fined for letting out converted garages etc.

What might be possible is to let it out on a "short term" basis. i.e. so no one has a permanent residence there.

I currently let out our motorhome parked down the side of our house for £30.00 per night and I am absolutely inundated with enquiries for it!

I do not let it out for more than a week, so no one can accuse me of having someone "living" there.

Temporary accommodation has much less rules and regulations when a person is not using the accommodation as their sole/main/permanent address.

Your cabin might provide a good short term solution for people on business in the town, visiting friends, attending an event, etc. Those are the sort of guests I have had stay in our motorhome and it is working very well.

I have had to turn down so many people because it is booked that its providing a nice bit of extra income when we do not use the vehicle ourselves. 🙂

You would also get a lot more money from a "short term let" than a single occupancy let, so its worth considering.

Mark Alexander

16:11 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "16/06/2014 - 16:05":

Surely if it was that easy people would just put caravans on their land?

Can you imagine how many I could fit on Bridleways?!!!
.

16:17 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

People do have caravans on their land.

Now you're thinking Mark! 🙂

I suspect there becomes a point when you need planning permission, but caravans (not statics) and motorhomes are not static buildings and can be moved, hence do not fall under the same laws as permanent structures.

Adam Hosker

16:26 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

According to this licence from Fire Extinguishers, Telephone and a Toilet Block; is all that is needed for multiple statics/caravans. Could be an earner mark!

@Sarah This may be a good start to find out whats needed:
http://www.aarco.co.uk/Do_I_Need_Planning_Permission.html

If its under under 30sqm your ok; over that and it starting to look a lot like bureaucracy! The site links too apparently charges £400 to sort planning out, no idea if its value for money but a good start perhaps to find out what you have to do.

Mark Alexander

16:34 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "16/06/2014 - 16:17":

I think, from memory, that it's five. Not sure I want the disruption but I will give it some thought and speak to Svetlana about it.
.

matchmade

17:26 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Vanessa, how do you market your motorhome?

As regards the original query, you need to check with your local parish council (if you have one) and the planners at borough level. I sit on the planning committee for a parish with a population of about 10,000 close to a junction of the M4. Our borough council is strongly against this type of arrangement - which has become a real problem since the Government freed up permitted development rights and enlarged the size of temporary structures allowed in gardens - and tends to object if there's any hint that the "home office" or "gym" is really intended to be a self-contained housing unit to be rented out. They also impose a condition on almost all planning permissions to ban conversion of home offices into rented properties. One of the key problems is that the fabric of the building/log cabin is rarely good enough to provide a proper habitable unit, and amateur landlords are prone to cut corners on issues like insulation, sanitation and hygiene.

My LPA would also come down on you like a ton of bricks if you started hiving off a section of the garden and providing independent access, parking and so on. You would effectively be creating a new residential unit, which should be liable for Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy, plus full council tax, never mind the principle that citizens can't simply go around carving up their gardens with fencing and sheds and renting them out. You may only aim for one extra log cabin, but there are plenty of people willing to carve up a house and garden into multiple self-contained bedsits if they were allowed to.

Home offices without cooking facilities and toilets are less objectionable, as are larger structures like well-insulated log cabins with a toilet, shower and kitchen area, where the applicant has plenty of garden space and clear evidence of personal need - for example as a "granny flat" or even a teenage den. So people with large houses and large gardens tend to get away with this sort of thing more often - the children grow up, the infirm mother passes away, and then questions tend not to be asked about how the log cabin will be used in later years. LPAs in environmentally sensitive areas may however imposes a condition that the structure is dismantled after the original need ends, and will check up on this.

Robert Mellors

18:29 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

I've just been looking into this myself in relation to caravans in gardens, and my understanding is as follows:

A log cabin is not a movable structure so it requires planning permission and thus local authority approval, which is extremely unlikely to be granted.

A caravan is a movable structure so you don't need planning permission to site it on your land (garden, driveway, etc).

If you are going to let the caravan as a self-contained residence, then again I believe you will need the permission from the Council.

However, if the caravan is ancillary to the main house, e.g. as an extra room, then no permission from the Council is required. What counts as ancillary or separate is where it gets a bit more complicated, and the rules get a bit vague and blurred by interpretation.

I hope that helps.

18:53 PM, 16th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Hi Tony,

I placed one free ad on Gumtree about three months ago and I have had a continual stream of enquiries!

Most people want it for a month, but I have said "no" to that.

However, I have one guy in there currently who wanted it for 19 days. He started a new job in Guildford and needed temporary accommodation until he found a suitable flat share.

I took a £100 deposit and collected the rent each Sunday, during which time my husband went in to check the van, re-fill the water tank, and empty the toilet cassette.

The chap has said how much he has enjoyed living in it. It's like a self-contained studio flat and he has his own front door key and can come and go as he pleases.

I've had two other enquiries from people who want to rent it for the month of July, and I am seeing one of them next week.

In terms of motorhome rental, you can rent out a £45K motorhome for £950 per week (hiring it out to people who want to go away on holiday in it), so the yields are actually a lot greater than BTL! 🙂

If ours was not 28 feet long, we might do rental with it, but my husband does not want people driving it around when its the size of a small bus, so we just let it out as temporary accommodation parked down the side of our house.

Obviously, if the neighbours complained, then we would think again, but so far, its worked out well.

I will just consider each enquiry on its merits and it also has to fit around us using it, as we go out in it a fair bit throughout the year.

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