Would a planning permission be required?

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I like to look around at properties on Rightmove etc and saw a 3 storey house. The lower ground floor was a separate flat where the ground floor and first floor was a house. Considering both the flat and house is a single property, would you need to seek planning permission to make it into a 3 storey house?
 
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Yes if they are separate properties then SFAIK you have to apply to the council to convert them back into one dwelling. For the average house where the division was relatively recent eg for a granny flat, I imagine they will likely allow this provided the exterior is unaffected (where they still shared a front door) and where no change in use such as business shop to residential. If however it is a flat block in a big old townhouse like a lot of old London terraces they may deem the loss of housing provision detrimental and block the change. It's important to get the paperwork in place or you will likely pay too much council tax and utility rates etc etc nevermind issues selling later.

I know of a couple of successful applications in various parts of London in recent years converting multiple flats back into single houses as their original form. Also even bigger jobs where they bought multiple houses and knocked them together. Nice to have the funds for that I guess!
 
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Very interesting. I would love to have the funds to do something like that but at the moment all my funds can afford is a shared flat at work lol.
Also makes me wonder how much something like that would cost to do as well (considering in this house a staircase to downstairs would be needed to be added).
 
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Adding a staircase is a simple thing. I wouldn't worry about that so long as it's timber floored. Harder if it's RC slab but even then not impossible
 
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You will also no doubt need to sort the title out if they are separate dwellings on separate titles
 
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You will also no doubt need to sort the title out if they are separate dwellings on separate titles

This is true, likely just the flat has a lease created under the freehold title of the house, so would just be a case of extinguising the lease if both properties were purchased which I believe is fairly simple.
 
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This is true, likely just the flat has a lease created under the freehold title of the house, so would just be a case of extinguising the lease if both properties were purchased which I believe is fairly simple.
Unless the flat is freehold of course in high case the vast majority of banks won’t lend on it
 
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makes no sense to me but not my area of expertise. What difference does freehold vs leasehold make to repossession?
 
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makes no sense to me but not my area of expertise. What difference does freehold vs leasehold make to repossession?

Two main reasons, by far the biggest/most important is that simply as most mortgage lenders will not lend on Freehold flats, that instantly restricts the market if you ever have to repocess and then sell the property.

The other reason is a legal reason which admittedly I googled, but this sums it up quite well.

"The legal issue is this: because a freehold flat sits within a building you have to rely on your fellow flat-owners to maintain, for example, the roof, the main walls, even the foundations. There isn’t usually a clear legal obligation or agreement between everyone to force people to make repairs or keep things in good condition. There isn’t even a legal obligation to share the costs of the work that needs to be done. Even if there is, when one freeholder sells their flat there’s no legal guarantee that the new owner will agree to do the decent thing. A leasehold, on the other hand, runs with the land so deals with the issue of maintenance and repair via specific covenants.


All this means freehold flats tend to be less valuable and desirable than leasehold flats or flats with part-ownership of the entire building’s freehold. And that means it is also very hard to re-mortgage properties like this."


I did also think it could also have to do with access rights, I couldnt find anything on that, but there still may be some truth in that. You have to be careful on a leasehold flat if the freehold is also owned by the same party/linked to the same party, as the freeholder can legally refuse you access to the property through the communal areas/ground in front, as your legal charge is only held over the lease of the actual flat, and although I actually cannot think of the exact reason why not, there may be a similar issue, it could also be that whoever told me that was talking out of their backside......
 
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