Convert Mid Terraced property into flats

by Readers Question

15:46 PM, 7th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Convert Mid Terraced property into flats

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Convert Mid Terraced property into flats

I am in process of buying a residential mid terraced property.Convert Mid Terraced property into flats

I am a first time buyer and got residential mortgage with 15% deposit.

However, I am looking to spilt the house in ground floor and first floor by taking advantage of new extension limit of 6m for rear ground floor and 3m for rear first floor.

I am new to this business and would like to put both flats on rent and buy another property for myself.

I am not sure how it works as I got 2 year fixed deal with current lender halifax.

Can someone advice me how to go about this and when will be the ideal time to do this conversion??

I dont mind to stay in this property until my current deal come to end however does it make sense to get planning approval and then complete work before 2016.

and as its mid terraced property, is it possible to get permission for conversion??

It’s got a 100 ft rear garden with free on street parking.

The local council is Watford.

Many thanks for all your inputs.

Rupang



Comments

Mark Alexander

15:50 PM, 7th August 2013
About 5 years ago

I'm pleased that you mentioned that you were in no rush as it's highly unlikely that your mortgage lender would consent to this.
.

rupang shah

16:00 PM, 7th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "07/08/2013 - 15:50":

thanks Mark for your prompt reply.

I can wait till my current deal expires but what are the chances to get planning approval as I have been advised that council will never ever grant mid terraced property in to flat...

Mark Alexander

16:04 PM, 7th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "rupang shah" at "07/08/2013 - 16:00":

Sorry Rupang, this is not something I've personally looked into so I can't be of much help at this stage I'm afraid. I'm sure others who are 'in the know' will be along to comment soon though 🙂
.

Neil Patterson

8:51 AM, 8th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Rupang,

I am certainly not an expert on planning permission, but without investigating this first you will be wasting time energy and money even thinking about the project. Permission will obviously depend on the area, but as I have not seen any terrace houses obviously split like this in the major Norwich areas I would be concerned that unless there are examples of this being done before that the council will be unlikely to want to set a precedent to change the core fabric of the area.

With regards to the business case for conversion. you will need to know:

Cost of conversion
Have the final value of the property assessed by a surveyor using the plans
Final rental income of both properties
Will it be one Freehold split into 2 flats or 2 Leaseholds
Research once the project is finished if there are any BTL lenders that will fit the property criteria and your circumstances or if you will just look to sell.

Then you will need the ability to repay the Halifax mortgage as it is unlikely they will give permission as it will affect their security. This could be done with a commercial Bridging loan but it is unlikely you will get more than 65% LTV so you will need surplus cash.

Once the works are finished you will most likely want to convert the property onto a BTL loan, but this will depend on how the property is split eg one Freehold or 2 Leasehold. What the final value of the flats will be as lenders have minimums they will lend on normally 40K value. Max LTV is most likely 75% but depends on circumstances.

In short I would not recommend any novice consider this for their first project unless they have professional expertise in a relevant area and a useful reserve of working capital.

andrew townshend

16:39 PM, 8th August 2013
About 5 years ago

20yrs ago i converted a house in norwich into 2 flats without planning permission, a builder working next door dropped me right in it with the planning dept, i was given 2 wks to change it back to a single house, there have been many similar houses converted in the area without planning, as i understand it if you take the risk and do not get caught for a few years then you have got away with it . as for getting planning permission- you will not, least ways not here in norwich.

Brian Q Love

19:17 PM, 8th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Permitted Development
The first thing of which you should be aware is that the Permitted Development rules only apply to houses, and not flats. So any extension you want to build under the PD rules have to be built before applying for Planning Permission to separate the property into two flats.

Secondly, although rear extensions of 6m groung floor and 3m first floor are being temporarily permitted, the rule about maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary being restricted to three metres still applies. So for a standard terrace house 5m wide your second floor extension can only be 1m wide - not very useful.

Conversion to Flats
Conversion requires Full Planning Permission. Watford has just adopted a new 'Local Plan Core Strategy' which covers planning law in the area. However, it seems their policy on Residential Conversions has been carried over from the old Watford District Plan 2000. You can view a copy of it at http://www.watford.gov.uk/ccm/content/planning-and-development/district-plan-2000/chapter-5---housing/

The relvant section is H13 which says:

H13 Conversions
Proposals to sub-divide existing dwellings, including the creation of housing in multiple occupation (HMO) or the conversion of non-residential buildings to dwellings will be acceptable in principle provided they are in accordance with Policy H11 and:
a) do not result in more than 10% of the existing residential frontage in a street block consisting of a mix of conversions, HMO or guest houses;
b) do not affect the residential frontage in a street block so as to unacceptably alter the character of that street block or the immediate neighbourhood;
c) car parking associated with the scheme is provided on-site or nearby in off-street facilities so as not to add to congestion, cause problems of highway safety or adversely affect the quality of the surrounding environment (see Policies T22 and T24); and adequate amenity space and facilities for refuse storage are provided;
d) do not harm any wild species protected under the provisions stated in Policy SE31, along with the features of their habitat upon which they depend.
Watford District Plan 2000 (Adopted December 2003) – Written Statement

There is more, but this is the key information.

So the first thing you need to do is see what the other properties in your street are. If less than 10% have been converted to flats or HMOs you may be in with a chance.

I suggest you speak to the Watford Duty Planning Officer using their Householder Pre Application Advoce system. The contact information is at http://www.watford.gov.uk/ccm/content/planning-and-development/updated-dc-pages/pre-application-planning-advice-guidance-note.en

Good luck,

Rgds,

Brian Q Love
Love Architecture Ltd


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