Should I convert lounge and add 3rd bedroom?

Should I convert lounge and add 3rd bedroom?

11:21 AM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago 21

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Hello, I wanted to get some advice on a flat I have in Central London near Canary Wharf. The property is a 2 bedroom new build property (constructed in 2017). It has been occupied by the same tenants since it was built.

In addition to the 2 bedrooms, there is 1 bathroom, and a large combined kitchen and living area with a balcony. The kitchen area is 3.72m x 2.77m and the living area is 4.08m x 3.72m which has a large balcony attached to it. I cannot seem to attach a floor plan.

I want to add a 3rd bedroom to the property by building a wall and door dividing the kitchen and living area. This would leave a reasonable size of kitchen/living space with space for a dining table and sofas/tv. The 3rd bedroom would have exclusive access to the balcony.

If I build this wall, it will create a much reduced living area for the existing tenants.

I want to get your views on this as I am unsure if I should go ahead with it and risk losing the tenants but have an increased rental income.

Thank you
Dec



Comments

by Neil Patterson

11:24 AM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago

Hi Dec,
For clarity I am assuming this is an HMO?

by Dec P

11:59 AM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 20/05/2021 - 11:24
yes

by budd

15:56 PM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago

if this is a HMO flat. Do you have permission from the management of the block?

Also you have to register with the council

by Dec P

17:04 PM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by at 20/05/2021 - 15:56
Thank you
I am aware of this
I was looking for any thoughts you had on the merits of converting this dining area

by David

17:59 PM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago

You may not get the permission of the freeholder for the conversion, so before going any further you should probably look into that.

It doesn't sound like a bad idea and I've done something similar in a property of my own (1 to 2 bed). However, I would say that 3 bed flats are harder to let than 1 or 2 bedders.

If the tenants are all on a single AST, then you would not have a right to do this work during their tenancy. If they're on room only tenancies, I would still advise waiting until its empty as it would be hugely disruptive and may still be breaching their right to quiet enjoyment.

by Ian Narbeth

18:13 PM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago

Dec, I am not sure how serious your question is. I will give a serious reply.

If you have granted a tenancy of the whole flat to the two tenants, then (at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious) you cannot do this work whilst the tenancy subists. Even if you have just granted separate tenancies of the two rooms with common parts being shared, you cannot take away a substantial part of the common parts unless the tenancies explicitly allow this, which I doubt.

Even if the tenancies purport to allow such works you must not disturb the tenants' quiet enjoyment of the flat which will not be easy if you have to construct a wall. If the tenants refuse the workmen entry you cannot force them to let the workmen in.

You should check your lease to see if such works are allowed. You should also check to see if you are allowed to create an HMO.

If you can overcome all these obstacles you will have created an HMO and before the third person moves in, you will need to obtain an HMO licence and comply with conditions imposed by Tower Hamlets Council: https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/housing/Health_and_housing/Landlord_licensing_scheme/Mandatory_HMO_Licensing.aspx which may include installing/upgrading fire doors and alarms.

by Paul Shears

21:04 PM, 20th May 2021, About a month ago

Would you want to live like this?

by Dec P

10:18 AM, 21st May 2021, About a month ago

Thanks for the comments
I am aware of the HMO regulations and legalities

I am mainly interested in hearing any views on renting 2 beds vs 3 beds and ease of attracting and retaining tenants.

Also the potential risk of losing the current good tenants - would you take this risk for the likelihood of higher yield

by Paul Shears

10:25 AM, 21st May 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Dec P at 21/05/2021 - 10:18
No, but then I value high caliber tenants and an easier life.
When I was a lodger many years ago, my landlady attempted to restrict me to a smaller space than the original deal promised.
I moved out after three days and went back to my old landlord whilst I looked for somewhere else to live.
It cost me £300 to leave and it was well worth it.

by Mrs Loon

10:30 AM, 21st May 2021, About a month ago

It is a money making opportunity if the rental market has a surplus of tenants. For your flat its a bad idea. I have several flats myself and would not do this. Also I find when I am helping my children look for flats I think it is misleading to call a 2 bed flat with no lounge a 3 bed flat. Even if you can squeeze a sofa into the kitchen.

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