to be pissed off about the house next door being converted into bedsits?

(102 Posts)
belfastbigmillie Sat 09-Mar-13 19:27:23

We live in a residential street where all the other houses are families or old people. The people next door to us sold their house but now it turns out that they sold it to builders. They are converting it into 2 studio flats (definitely without planning permission because we checked). There is only about 2 feet between their house and ours and we share a fence etc. It overlooks our garden. I'm not too happy about it. In my mind studio flats = young people/noise/ parties or single dodgy blokes. Either way it doesn't feel good to me. Can I do anything about it? Will it devalue our house? BTW we don't live in the kind of area where it will attract professional singles etc.

HeySoulSister Sat 09-Mar-13 19:29:19

Young people don't Always mean noise!!!

And single 'dodgy' men? hmm

If its not done yet and they dont have planning permissions I would think you could report it to the council.

YouTheCat Sat 09-Mar-13 19:30:10

They can't just change the occupancy on a whim. Inform the council if you think it's not all above board.

MN044 Sat 09-Mar-13 19:31:08

Arf @ single dodgy blokes. Yes, it will obviously devalue your house by thousands. And they'll be rolling in the street drunk. If you're that bothered about it just tell the council heave not got planning permission. They'll soon put a stop to it. But seriously, you cannot control the other tenants on your street. To have such a strong opinion is a bit weird. Ok, a lot weird. It's not a brothel ffs. Or is it....

belfastbigmillie Sat 09-Mar-13 19:31:09

I know, I know. I sound like a judgemental bastard. I'm not really. It's just that I did find it really good that all the people were elderly or had young families like us. There's never any noise at night etc even though we live in a big city.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Mar-13 19:31:14

I would wait to see what kind of neighbours they turned out to be before putting a downer on them.

I can understand being worried about who's going to move in, but being poor doesn't mean they're going to have few social skills.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 09-Mar-13 19:31:31

Has any work started yet? Contact your local council planning department because they have to get planning permission for this.

From Planning Portal website

I want to convert a house (or single flat) to a number of flats, bed-sits or other form of subdivision.
Planning Permission

To subdivide a house into multiple units you must obtain planning permission.

If your house is a listed building it is likely you will need listed building consent and you should contact your local planning authority for advice before you start work. Works to a listed building that affect its special historic character without consent is a criminal offence.

If your flat is in a conservation area and your proposals involve an element of demolition then you may need to apply for conservation area consent and you should contact your local planning authority for advice.
Building Regulations

Conversions of properties require approval under the Building Regulations.
You may need to consult the Fire Service regarding issues relating to fire escapes.
The Housing Act 2004 requires that sub-divided buildings meet standards and houses in multiple occupation are licensed. Read more about the Housing Act 2004.

Single dodgy blokes???
What on earth does that mean?

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Mar-13 19:33:22

I live on a street with mostly older neighbours, but wanting to keep out the scummy general unwashed from our area would be a judgement too far IMO.

belfastbigmillie Sat 09-Mar-13 19:33:30

They're about half way through the work. They've already ripped out the staircase etc and bricked up some windows. It's not a 'posh' house - it's ex council. I know I sound uptight but our house is the only thing of value we own and it is my dream to be able to sell it in about 3 years and move away.

AmberLeaf Sat 09-Mar-13 19:33:45

2 studios in a whole house? is that all?

Call planning dept at your local authority, they need to get planning and when they apply you as a direct neighbour will get a letter and opportunity to object.

But thats all if they have applied, so as they haven't you need to speak to someone.

How do you know their plans? did they tell you?

YANBU.

mummymeister Sat 09-Mar-13 19:34:18

Several things. Planning permission - check to see if your local council has all applications on line. You can then see if they have applied and if you can object. second - noise insulation. If they are into 2 units then there needs to be adequate insulation between them. third - building regulations. They need building reg approval even if they dont need planning permission. you can speak to the building regulations dept at the council on Monday regarding this. Fire risk assessment - as a multiple household has been created they need to have proper fire protection. Its different from a single family house. Any good builder would know all of this. Good luck - with the rise in single person households this is going to become a lot more common.

belfastbigmillie Sat 09-Mar-13 19:35:00

I'm not being a snob about being poor - we're poor! If they had applied for planning permission would we be automatically informed?

AmberLeaf Sat 09-Mar-13 19:36:12

You should as a direct neighbour and if you share a wall [I think] get a letter and chance to object [any objections will have your name or street number I think attached and they will see them]

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Mar-13 19:36:24

What if it was a single woman, would they be considered dodgy?

Or students doing a PhD in nuclear engineering, would that be suitable for the area?

belfastbigmillie Sat 09-Mar-13 19:36:36

Oh, just read the above. According to the council website, they have not applied for planning. As I said, it's an ex-council house so a small house. I know they're turning it into 2 flats as one of the workmen told me.

erowid Sat 09-Mar-13 19:37:11

You're being a bit pre-judgemental seeing as no-one as actually moved in yet but if you think they are converting it without planning permission, report it to the council.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 09-Mar-13 19:38:18

single dodgy blokes!!
YABU

HeySoulSister Sat 09-Mar-13 19:38:32

Maybe he was winding you up?

YouTheCat Sat 09-Mar-13 19:38:41

This happened down the road from us. Builders wanted to convert a large Edwardian house into multiple occupancy rooms. There was a huge uproar (residential family area) and it didn't get through planning.

2 streets away and no one would have cared as it's a massive student area.

belfastbigmillie Sat 09-Mar-13 19:40:53

Not winding me up - they have taken out the stairs, bricked up windows and put in partition walls already.

Maggie111 Sat 09-Mar-13 19:42:26

2 studio apartments isn't a bedsit and I wouldn't mind living next door to one. Students who want a "noisy" lifestyle will live in a bedshare, not a studio apartment.

You're more likely to find young professionals in crap paying jobs who want their own home - like teachers or nurses.

However - I'd definitely speak to the council about planning permission!

Shelby2010 Sat 09-Mar-13 19:42:33

You don't get a letter about planning permission anymore. There should be a notice displayed outside the property.

This happened to a house on our street - they applied for planning permission to extend as a family residence, then converted it to flats/bedsits. They then applied for retrospective planning permission for change of use. This was actually refused because the conversion didn't conform to regulations. Hasn't stopped it being rented out though, and as far as I know the council have done nothing.

YouTheCat Sat 09-Mar-13 19:42:52

If they don't have planning permission, you really must report them. The chances are they won't adhere to building regs either or have in place the things that landlords are supposed to.

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