Change of use for flat below

by Readers Question

18:06 PM, 9th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Change of use for flat below

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Change of use for flat below

Hello

I am a regular reader but this is my first post.

We have recently purchased an ex LA (local authority) first floor flat in a 4 storey block of 8 in London.

Ours and one other are private, the rest are still LA.

The flat underneath us is vacant and we have just had a planning notice requesting change of use from Class 3 residential to B1, an office. The residents are wanting to take over the management of the estate (not just our block) and are wanting to use this flat as their office because it already has disabled access.

On the face of it, the proposals do not really cause us too much concern because it will be used 8-5, Monday to Friday, but are we missing something?

We also have no idea what would happen to the valuation. Change of use for flat below

On the one hand it would stop us having a neighbour from hell (or equally a perfect neighbour), but on the other hand, it may get used for something else in the future which we would not want.

Can we ask for some sort of covenant so that it is only used for the management of the estate?

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated, both for and against, and we are especially keen to know what would happen to our flat’s value, considering we may have bought at the top end of the market (March 2014).

Many thanks in anticipation.

Mike



Comments

Mark Alexander

18:22 PM, 9th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Mike

Has there been a meeting of other residents and if so what did they have to say?

Without knowing a lot more detail, my gut reaction is pretty neutral about this as you seem to have considered the key plus and minus points.

On balance I'd say better the devil you know. Given that the occupiers of the residents association office are likely to be in occupation longer than any other tenant then I'm leaning towards allowing this being your best bet.
.

Ian Ringrose

18:41 PM, 9th July 2014
About 4 years ago

You don’t have any real option; if you object to the planning then the leaders of the residents association may not like you. You totally depend on them to sort out any problems with the building, also as one of the few private owners, the residents association could easily make it very costly for you on repairs etc, by taking advantage of the grants that the LA can get, but you can’t.

So for example the LA may be able to get a 95% grant to upgrade the building, so only having to pay £2K out of the £40K cost per flat, but you will be make to pay the £40K cost for your flat!

michael entwistle

10:54 AM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hello Mark and Ian,
Many thanks for your replies. As I said, on the face of it we have no objections and your comments have reinforced that opinion. We appreciate comments from people distanced from the situation as we may have tunnel vision about it!
Kind regards.
Mike.


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