Council are saying we can’t stay in our own annex?

by Readers Question

11:34 AM, 26th September 2017
About 4 years ago

Council are saying we can’t stay in our own annex?

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Council are saying we can’t stay in our own annex?

We demolished an existing garage and rebuilt it with a small flat above about 5 years ago. The planning terms were that only friends or family could stay in the annex.

It’s self-contained and has its own drive and entrance. We’ve recently moved to Portugal and rented out the main house. My husband’s internet business is UK based and he travels back every month or so for 4-5 nights for business. He pays for and maintains a professional internet provider to the property and stays in the annex when he goes over for business. This is where all his major computer work is done. Our Portuguese internet isn’t up to the job. Our car is kept in the garage below the flat.

About 3 months ago a family friend ended up homeless through personal reasons and we’ve allowed him to stay in the annex when we aren’t using it. He crashes on his dad’s sofa when we are over. It suits us, the flat gets used and he prepares it for our arrival.

However, we’ve just received a letter from the local council stating that we are in breach of our planning conditions. I assumed it was because our friend was staying there, but it also turns out because we are staying in our own property.

Apparently because we are not related, or friends of the people we rent the main house to, we cannot stay in the annex.

Had we known this would be the case we’d have rented the entire property out including the annex although the computer situation would have proved difficult. Can the council enforce this as we actually own it?

Now apart from anything else we’ll have to ask our friend to leave. Can we drag this out to enable him to find somewhere to live?

I know his finances are currently very stretched.

Comments

Gillian Schifreen

19:16 PM, 26th September 2017
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by James Barnes at 26/09/2017 - 14:04
It's always had separate electric and water as it's so far from the house. We split the meters when we rented the house, which may well be what alerted the council somehow.

sam

0:19 AM, 27th September 2017
About 4 years ago

Friends and family of 'who' ? - owner or occupier ? Or is it silent ?
I would have thought 'tenants' and 'friends' are not mutually exclusive.

Mike W proposal would also give you, I think, the first £7,200 of rental income tax free albeit with a different rental agreement than AST.

Cant imagine why the council is being so pedantic or are they concerned that you are creating a HMO ?

Mike W

9:50 AM, 28th September 2017
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by sam at 27/09/2017 - 00:19
Sam, you don't necessarily have to use the £7200 option and can instead produce full accounts presenting a bit of own use of the property.

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