Why should I get a Lawful Development Certificate for a Permitted Development Right?
Simply, because you don’t really know if it is, and always going to be, a Permitted Development Right. And most importantly, a Lawful Development Certificate can save you a tremendous amount of money. Let’s show you how in the following cases…
A C3 to C4 is a permitted development right, why get a Lawfulness Certificate?
The change of use from C3 (residential, single dwelling) to C4 (HMO) is a permitted development right, isn’t it?
And until now article 4 (invalidates Permitted Development Rights) takes a year to be approved and activated within an area. A council must put a consultation first and it’s not less than a year when article 4 is in place.
However, have you heard the news? Last month, Merton Council did a completely different thing. Merton Council placed article 4 for the change of use from C3 to C4 on the 17th of November with immediate effect. And to be compliant, they decided to make a consultation but it will be after article 4 comes in. If they get an objection within the next 6 months, they won’t be able to put it through, but if they don’t, article 4 will be active and in place since the date of November 17th and on.
Now, people have already started building and changing use because they have known that article 4 takes a year to come in. But look at the problem they are in now, they put in money to change use from a C3 to C4 but they can’t finish it because article 4 is now and immediately active in this area.
That’s why we always recommend that you get a Lawful Development Certificate before you start doing your work because once you have it, you have it approved forever.
Those owners would have avoided that issue that is happening now if they had a Lawfulness Certificate. See, the change of use from a C3 to a C4 costs 150K pounds for the building works compared to only 1K, the cost of the certificate, which could have guaranteed them peace of mind. People are literally gambling 150K pounds when they can have it secured for only 1k.
Another thing is, if you have a Certificate of Lawfulness, to the bank, it’s now legal.
There was once an incident of a group of people, they had a 6-bedroom HMO that they changed into a 7-bedroom one, which is a Permitted Development Right. The council demanded they put it back to a single dwelling. However, they had a Lawfulness Certificate for the 6-bedroom HMO. The court then said they don’t have to put it back as a single dwelling, but they would have to put it back to a 6-bedroom HMO because that was the last legal use. It would have cost them 150K if they hadn’t had that Certificate of Lawfulness.
A back loft extension is a permitted development right, why get a Lawfulness Certificate?
For a back loft extension, what you have permitted is 40 or 50 cubic meters. Most of the time it’s very difficult to make the calculations right to be on the safe side. At the same time, the small design is an issue. And even if you do it right, the bank will like to have it once you come to remortgage.
So again, you cost yourself so much money, 100k, to build a loft extension, and dismiss to secure it with a 1k Certificate of Lawfulness.
A few weeks ago, a property owner went to build a back loft extension for a new house, they didn’t know that the council had taken away all Permitted Development Rights from that house because it was new. And now they have to break it off. If the council had given them a Certificate of Lawfulness, it wouldn’t have cost them that much money because the council would have had to pay for the costs.