Granny flat query

Granny flat query

Do I Need Permission - Ask An Expert We obtained planning permission for a granny flat extension to our house 22 years ago. The plans showed a connecting door between our bedroom and the flat and on a visit from the planner she made the comment that she wouldn’t like the door in her bedroom, but that she wouldn’t be back at the property therefore up to us if we put it in which we decided not to do and a completion certificate was subsequently issued also the granny flat was assessed and rated separate to our own home.
Unitl last year my mother stayed in the flat and when it was vacated we renovated it with the intention that our daughter would move in but she decided not to do so therefore we managed to find a suitable tenant who is not related to us. We have registered with the local authority as landlords and have all relevant certificates necessary for letting a property.

We received a letter from the local planning enforcement advising that the planning permission had been granted and the flat could only be occupied by elderly or dependent relatives of occupants of the main house and we would need further approval should we require that it is used as a separate dwellinghouse.   While researching I have found a ruling that states if the planning authority have not taken action to resolve the isssue within 4 or 10 years depending on situation, that they are out of time to enforce and it is taken that the status quo would stand therefore in our situation as the property has been a separate dwelling for 22 years  they cannot now enforce us to gain further approval.     This is what I was wanting clarification on – appreciate any comments   Thanks   Irene
Question Posted By – Irene In Area – West Central Scotland

  1. Michael HydeMichael Hyde03-04-2015

    Hi Irene. What is your question? Mike Hyde

  2. Michael HydeMichael Hyde03-06-2015

    Hello Irene. Now I understand. If you are able to demonstrate that ‘on the balance of probability’ that the granny flat was occupied completely separately from the main house for the last 4 years you should be able to obtain what is called a Certificate of Lawful Use confirming this. This would confirm that the use of the flat separately from the house was lawful and thus immune from enforcement action. If you want to send (by e-mail if you can) me a copy of the letter from the Enforcement Officer I can have a look at it and give you some further advice. You will need evidence that it was occupied separately to back up your case, but if the flat has been registered separately for Council Tax, had it’s own front door, kitchen, bathroom etc., own postal address, separate telephone number etc., you should hopefully be able to obtain the Certificate fairly easily. Regards. Mike (mh@mhplanning.co.uk).

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