Planning expert to give view on 4 year rule please

Planning expert to give view on 4 year rule please

15:06 PM, 27th November 2018, About 4 years ago 2

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Hi there. Was wondering if there are any planning experts/lawyers on here who could give me a 2nd opinion please. I have a property which is divided into self contained studios, but I can find no evidence of planning permission.

They have been in existence for just over 4 years (which I know is significant) but I got them 18 months ago. Apart from one studio, the others have been empty, because as people moved out, I did not replace them as I was a bit scared to do so in case as the property was going through probate. However, all of them were rented out for the first 2 years continuously on ASTs.

I had read that in order to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness (which means if things have been existence for 4 years or more you can apply for them to be legal), the 4 years have to be continuous. A planning lawyer who I consulted said that he would argue that the layout and alterations have themselves been in existence for 4 years so the fact that they haven’t always been tenanted would not be the test.

I was hoping to get a 2nd opinion from those qualified to answer on this last matter.

Thank you



Fen Jen

11:05 AM, 28th November 2018, About 4 years ago

Good luck make sure your surveyor knows what he is doing. I spent over a year trying to get a certificate and I had planning permission only for it to be refused by the council. I have now appealed but will have to wait another year. Mine was over 10 years and it was still refused without any communication from the council just a publication on their website. I hope the property is not in Waltham Forest as you will be wasting your time.


10:39 AM, 29th November 2018, About 4 years ago

lol 😉 waltham forest!

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