HIP Exemptions : When is a property not residential ?

Many of the exceptions to the requirement for a HIP set out in Part 6 of the HIP Regulations depend on whether the property is residential or non-residential. Set out below  are some examples of residential and non-residential properties using the interpretation principles set out in regulations 25 and 26:

  • Vacant property last used as a shop Non-residential and to continue to be used as a shop would be deemed Non Residential
  • Ex-school which has been converted Residentialinto a home would be deemed Residential
  • Shop due to be converted for residential Residential use by the time the sale is complete would be Residential
  • Property last used as a family home but Non-residentialwill be converted into an office by the time the sale is complete would be regarded as Non - residential

Under regulation 26(b)(ii) properties used for home working are considered residential and therefore the HIP duties would apply.

Home working takes many different forms and can range from having a study which is occasional used for work purposes to a home that has been adapted for work purposes. If the primary use of the property is residential (see HIP regulation 25(1)(a)), it should be considered a residential property. However, as described below in the guidance on regulation 29 (dual use of a dwelling), home-working will necessarily be a question of fact and degree and the intensity of use will be relevant.

To avoid home working being confused with a non-residential use or non-residential premises, the following provides some examples of home working (note the HIP duties apply in these cases)

  • A house where the loft has been converted into an architect’s studio (with no special adaptation) for use by the owner.
  • A house with a separate garage or shed which has been converted into an office for use by an owner and which is intended to be occupied and enjoyed together with the house.
  • A house with an out-building used for operating the owner’s car cleaning service where the out-building is intended to be occupied and enjoyed together with the house.
  • A house where a post office/small shop is run by the owner from the front room.
    Customers gain access via the same route used for accessing the residential part of the property.
  • A house where one room has been converted into an office and is used by the owner to work from home.
  • A house where a room has been adapted into a hair salon for use by the owner.
    A house where no adaptation has taken place but where one room is used for private music lessons conducted by the owner.
  • A house where an outbuilding is used by the owner to store gardening or building
    equipment which they use for work ( e.g. as a landscape gardener).