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Nicola-mod
Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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I wish to redevelop a building that has been used as a hostel

Customer Question

I wish to redevelop a building that has been used as a hostel as student accommodation but without the need for planning & change of use. Please advise what features I would need to incorporate to enable this to happen. I would like to create studio ensuite bedrooms with kitchenettes but I fear that this would breach the non-self contained nature that is a hostel. What are your thoughts?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 4 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

How many people will stay in the property?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is a former seaman's mission and had around 100 bedrooms with communal kitchens & showers. It needs reconfiguring for modern usage but I would aim to get at least 100 letting rooms out of it still.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 4 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

Will you be letting the rooms under leases or licensing the rooms? Basically will you provide services to the rooms such as cleaners etc

Does the use class specifically prohibit use as a student accommodation?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I hadn't thought about it. We could let the rooms under ASTs but I guess if we did a regular bathroom & kitchen clean this would enable us to license the rooms. Whatever is most appropriate given the circumstances.


 


The planning department will not commit themselves to saying what the use class is as there is nothing in the electronic records regarding this and it is not cost effective to visit the historic paper archives. The usage as a hostel goes back as far as the 1960s and is well established. I have seen a lease to previous tenant which refers to C2 usage.


 


There is no evidence that student accommodation is prohibited as such & there is a very little refuse left that suggests previous student occupation.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 4 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

For students I think a a licence is better. Especially for international students, if you don't give then exclusive possession you can easily get them out at the end of the school year.

The risk you have is without proper planning consent you risk a fine and enforcement notice.

Does the local university have any restrictions on the student accommodations?

Do you need to register with them?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This would be private accommodation and would not necessarily go via the university. There are no particular restrictions to adhere too.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 4 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

Putting aside the planning issue you would need to follow health and safety legislation. Ensure it is compliant with fire code suitable materials are used for the building.

The problem you ultimately have is the number of baths and kitchens required for a habitable property will depend on the building regulations you must comply with.

Have you had any buildings reg conditions from the council?

Kind regards

AJ

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Of course I will need everything to conform to health & safety and building regulations. I will consult with them at the appropriate time. Currently my concern is to establish what are the design characteristics which we must include or adhere to to remain within the planning definition of a hostel.
If you do not know that is ok, it is an esoteric question, but please let me know so that I can open the question back to the group.
Thanks
Expert:  Alex J. replied 4 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

My apologies by I do not believe that is a legal question.

I will opt out. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any other assistance.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is to do with planning definitions which must have a legal basis, but I do understand it is obscure otherwise I would not need help.


 


Thanks anyway.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi


I think I need to find a technical specialist in planning law & practise rather than a property lawyer.



Please confirm I have not been charged for this.


Thank you

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

I'm very sorry you did not receive a detailed enough answer to your question. I will process a refund for you and you should receive email confirmation that this has been done.

I do hope you will give JustAnswer a try again in the future,
Nicola