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
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!
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
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
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
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
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