Can I convert my house into flats? Tips from Conveyancing Solicitors in Barnet

by Alanna Narain, Legal Researcher
Monday 16th of January 2012 09:26:49 PM

The purchase of a home for conversion in to self-contained flats is becoming more popular. Many ambitious buy-to-let investors are seeing the advantages of buying a home and converting it into flats, as demand sky-rockets for rental accommodation throughout many areas of the capital, including Barnet.

While the long-term financial benefits are evident, Conveyancing Solicitors in Barnet are urging buyers to be cautious when completing on a property. There are many factors to take into consideration, some of which only arise during the Conveyancing process. Conveyancing in not merely a formality, and if serious and potentially unresolvable legal issues are revealed, a sensible buyer would be wise to reconsider.

Conveyancing Solicitors in Barnet list common buy-to-let issues

An existing residential dwelling would require full planning permission to be converted or sub-divided into individual units.

Extensive details would have to be provided to the local authority district for approval, including the following:

  • Application forms
  • Floor plans (existing and proposed)
  • Site Location Plan
  • Elevation details (if external alterations or extensions are needed)
  • If the dwelling is a listed building, it is likely that you will also need consent and approval under building regulations.
  • You may need to consult the fire services regarding issues relating to fire escapes.
  • A ‘change of use application’ will also have to be submitted for approval as you are essentially converting the property from a single use dwelling to a house in multiple occupation.

Advice for investors and landlords from Conveyancing Solicitors in Barnet

When acting on behalf of purchasers, Conveyancing Solicitors in Barnet will undertake searches of the local land charges and planning registers. The search is designed to reveal information about the home to the intending buyers, including the planning history.

Solicitor Stephanie Gerstler acted on behalf of the buyers of an end-of-terrace abode on Berkeley Crescent in Barnet, EN4.

Search results revealed that an application was submitted by the vendors of the residence in 2009 for the conversion of the existing home into two self-contained flats, including a two storey rear extension and off-street parking , but was refused by the local authority.

Stephanie’s clients were intending to be the sole occupiers of their new home so this was not a major issue; however, it would have been important if they were intending to rent in the future. Consequently, Conveyancing Solicitors in Barnet are always cautious to advice on this issue.

Estate agents are another good contact when deciding where to purchase a property as they will be familiar with the local area. Assisting with this transaction was the Hunters’ branch at 41 High Street, Barnet, EN5 5UW.

For more information on Conveyancing Solicitors in Barnet for your home move or buy-to-let investment, contact Fridaysmove on 0330 660 0286, or get a quote online.