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JohnH said: Posted on: 18/12/2009 00:00

As you may have heard the Government are considering making changes to planning law. If they do this, the effect would be that if you want to let out a house or flat which you have previously rented to a couple or a family then you would have to obtain planning permission from the local authority should you want to rent it out to a group of three or more unrelated individuals. The same could apply to the other way round.

As the law stands at the moment, you do not need to obtain planning permission to rent out what was previously a family house/flat as a shared house/flat which is to be lived in by a group e.g. friends, students or young professionals, nurses etc. As part of the studentification campaign pressure groups are lobbying the Government to make these changes and the Residential Landlords Association, along with the British Property Federation, the National Union of Students, the Local Government Association and other landlord associations are urging the Government not to make any change. In any case, a change would not be retrospective. If your property was already a shared house/flat you would not need planning permission, unless, of course, you were subsequently then wanting to let it out to a family again, or a couple.

We are surveying landlords about their reactions if they were faced with having to obtain planning consent in this situation. Planning permission might well be needed each time you wanted to change over the use of the property in this way. We believe that this will take a lot of flexibility away from the private rented sector and will seriously damage the sector. This is why we have been conducting a high profile campaign against what is being proposed. At the moment the Governmentís decision is still awaited.

By replying to this survey we can gauge our memberís views on any possible changes to planning law.

To visit the survey, please visit the following link:

http://www.rla.org.uk/questionnaires/studentification_dec09.shtml

Many thanks for your assistance.

John

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