Renovation: Things to consider before you start

Renovation: Things to consider before you start

Many people think becoming a landlord is as simple as buying a house and getting someone to live in it. This, however, is not the case. It is very common for a person who invests in a Buy to Let property to have to carry out some sort of building work on the property before they let it out.

Renovations are a major part of the property market. They can make a home more attractive, add value to a property or they may simply be needed in order to get the house ready to rent out to prospective tenants.

Regardless of whether you are selling your property on or letting it out, there are numerous things to consider before you get the out the tool box!

Planning permission

The changes you make to a property can depend on the type of tenant you are interested in. For example, somebody targeting the student sector may wish to split a large room into two to create an extra bedroom. A landlord looking at renting to a family may wish to make more room in the property with an extension.

Before you make any changes to a property’s original design it is essential that you apply for planning permission. 

Planning permission is related to the building's effects on the environment both visually and through its possible effects on the surrounding society. You can get it by contacting your local council, they will have all the relevant information regarding the property and whether what you are planning is acceptable. 

Failing to do this is actually breaking the law and a project can be stopped or even demolished if it hasn't received the correct permission.

Once you have contacted them you will be advised as to which forms you must fill out to obtain the planning.

If you are refused for any reason there is an appeal process  but you may be liable to cover council costs in this instance.

Building regulations

This is a completely separate issue from planning permission and should not be confused with it.

Building regulations are the minimum standards required by a property to make sure that it is structurally safe, energy efficient and is protected from the risk of fire.
Minor interior renovations do not need approval. For example, repairs such as replacing drains or installing a new bathroom will not generally alter the structural integrity of the building, and so no approval is needed.

At some point during the work a buildings control surveyor will look into the project to ensure that all relevant building regulations have been adhered to. 

Once the job is completed landlords should ensure that a Completion Certificate is issued as proof that the relevant checks have been carried out - this is particularly important for those looking to sell as buyers may be reluctant to take on a building with missing documentation.

The full information regarding building regulations can be found through the government's official planning site. Anyone considering building work on their property should consider these in the design.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801674196-ADNFCR

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