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Plz help! converthed garage without permission!

(16 Posts)
yrene1209 Tue 16-Jun-15 15:51:48

Hi, there!
I need some urgent advice.
Two years ago my garage was so old and wet so we decided to convert it to s spare room. We fit a small shower and toilet in it because there is only one in the house, also put windows at the front and back. It has a separate entrance and it was good for guests who sometimes visited us. the problem is we didn't get any building reg/control or permission for this. blush
Now we're thinking of renting out the property because we're moving to different place and I am very worried if this can cause any trouble.
Can anyone tell me what's the best action I can take? I really don't want to demolish it. What can be the worst thing that can happen?
I guess it musn't be possible for the tenants to use the space for extra room or hobby room. Is it right? Plz any advice I would appreciate!

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Tue 16-Jun-15 15:54:28

Why the heck didn't you apply for planning?? confused

Can you apply for retrospective planning permission on it? Don't be surprised if you are told no and have to put it back as was, that's the risk you take when you build/convert without permission.

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Tue 16-Jun-15 15:55:24

You won't be able to let the property or sell it without PP for the room. It's a legal requirement.

lalalonglegs Tue 16-Jun-15 16:21:44

Is that the case re: PP? I rent out a whole flat that has no PP (although it would qualify under the four year continuous use rule should I wish to get retrospective consent or a change of use) - it's never caused any issues.

If it is a problem, then see if anyone else on your street/in your neighbourhood has had a similar conversion done with permission and then go to your planning department/ask a planning consultant about getting permission retrospectively. If yours is unique, then you can either wait another two years and get a lawful development certificate (you would have to check that an attached garage constituted residential use though) or speak to a planning consultant about getting retrospective consent. Building regs can also be granted retrospectively although they can be a pain as you may have to pull up floors/hack off plaster to show the work you did. Again, I'd suggest speaking to an independent expert before approaching the council.

LIZS Tue 16-Jun-15 16:25:58

You need pp to change the door to a window and buildings regs to ensure it is a habitable room . You can apply retrospectively.

Katymac Tue 16-Jun-15 16:30:08

The problem is likely to be the insulation - rules about that are very strict now

yrene1209 Tue 16-Jun-15 16:52:39

Thanks so much everyone. I feel ahame of myself. I wasn't fully aware of regulations and thought it should be ok as long as we use it as a hobby room. Can anyone recommand an independent expert/comoany I can contact? Im in surrey.

wonkylegs Tue 16-Jun-15 17:04:01

Officially ignorance isn't a good enough excuse, some local authorities can be harsh about it, others are more sympathetic, unfortunately it's often hard what approach they will take without notifying them you are in breech.
Planning Permission- The four year rule does not grant you planning permission but will grant you immunity from action after 4years of continuous use (this will not always be granted and is subject to certain criteria being ok - generally not applicable/granted in conservation areas or on listed buildings) - it is a solution but it is probably better to try for retrospective PP.
Building Regs - more difficult than PP as you need to demonstrate that it meets current building regs to be granted it retrospectively - this will generally mean exposing the insulation, the drains for the sanitary installation and and structural work that was done (lintels, foundations, beams)

wonkylegs Tue 16-Jun-15 17:07:30

A local architect or planning consultant with knowledge of domestic work in your area/ council may be a good start as they will know how the local planning authority are likely to approach it and will be able to help with the information you will need to present. Ask neighbours who have had extensions/ conversions who they used or look at the councils latest planning applications to see who other people have used (available on the council website)

shoepolish Tue 16-Jun-15 17:09:36

Are you sure you need PP for this I thought as long as it's internal work and doesn't change structure of house then no PP needed? BR yes.
There may be restriction in deeds to change the look of house, you'd need to check.

shoepolish Tue 16-Jun-15 17:13:00

Is it a detached garage? PP may be needed if that's the case..

yrene1209 Tue 16-Jun-15 18:44:07

shoepolis, no it's not a detached garage and that's what we thought when we did conversion.
wonkylegs, yesm I know. I'm so much regretting about myself that I tried to make things easier and more simple which make things much more complicated now.
I also wonder what if I use it just as a garage or a storage not as a habitable room. Would I still need a pp/br?

LIZS Tue 16-Jun-15 18:49:45

Have you changed the front to a window? Does that have sign off. You can use it as you choose but it will not be a room if you cone to sell and it may create delays and devalue your property. Did the builder not advise you contact the council ?

PantMoustache Tue 16-Jun-15 18:54:33

I think you may just need BR and not PP. Call your local planning office and say "We are thinking of doing X to our garage - do we need PP."

We converted our detached garage into a study and did not need PP.

Shesparkles Tue 16-Jun-15 19:00:41

We converted our garage to a living room and didn't need planning permission, only a building warrant. I'm in Scotland though so it may be different elsewhere

wonkylegs Tue 16-Jun-15 20:06:29

It does depend on the exact nature of the changes as to whether or not you definitely need planning permission. If the windows you have inserted are not bays, and are of a similar size, design and scale to the other windows you may be ok without permission. Make sure your area has not had its article 4 rights removed - your deeds can tell you this. If it has restrictions on this (many housing estates may have this or conservation areas) then you will probably need permission. If there has been any extension even a bricks worth or the neighbours could be considered to be overlooked (which I'm guessing if this had been a problem they would have reported it) then you will again need permission.
If you use it as an 'external' storage area (I.e. Not a habitable room) and remove the shower and toilet then you won't need building regulations. But if you want to keep the toilet & shower then you will need to get building regulations whatever you do with the rest of it.

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