property alterations planning permission

Before embarking on property alterations or extensions, it is crucial to be aware of the necessary permissions and consents required to ensure legal compliance. This article provides an overview of commonly required permissions and the consequences of non-compliance.

Identifying Required Permissions

There are several permissions that may be necessary for property alterations, depending on the project’s scope and the property in question.

Planning Permission

Local planning authorities grant planning permission, which is typically required for significant extensions, new structures, or changes in property use. Visit your local planning authority’s website to check if your project requires planning permission.

Building Regulations Approval

Building Regulations approval may be required for various works, including extensions, loft conversions, and installing new windows and doors. Your local authority building control department will grant this approval.

Landlord’s Consent for Leasehold Properties

If you own a leasehold property (such as a flat), your lease may stipulate that you obtain your landlord’s consent before making alterations. This consent is needed because substantial works on your flat could impact the rest of the building. Consult your lease to determine if landlord consent is necessary.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failure to obtain the appropriate permissions can lead to legal consequences and potential difficulties when selling your property.

Failing to Comply with Planning Permission

If you did not make a planning application, you might be allowed to submit a retrospective application. However, if you proceeded with unapproved works, you could receive an enforcement notice requiring you to reverse the alterations or make changes to comply with planning permission terms. Non-compliance is an offence and may result in a substantial fine.

Failing to Comply with Building Regulations

The building control department can issue an enforcement notice requiring you to remove or modify non-compliant works. Alternatively, you could face prosecution in the magistrates’ court, usually reserved for deliberate Building Regulations contraventions. Convictions can result in hefty fines.

Breach of Lease

If you fail to obtain your landlord’s consent, they may pursue legal action such as an injunction to stop the works and reinstate the property, claim damages, or initiate forfeiture proceedings, which could result in the termination of your lease and loss of property interest.

Protecting Yourself from Disputes

Seek specialist advice and ensure all necessary consents and permissions are obtained before starting any property alterations. This proactive approach will help minimise the risk of disputes and potential legal consequences.

For legal advice, consider consulting a solicitor. One such option is Levi Solicitors, who offer services related to property alterations and permissions.

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