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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My girlfriend has rebuilt a collapsed tractor shed on her parents

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My girlfriend has rebuilt a collapsed tractor shed on her parents' farm in the Isles of Scilly for herself to live in without planning permission. The farm is leasehold from the Duchy of Cornwall. She has been living in it for 4 years. If discovered will she be evicted or be liable for a back payment of council tax? Also would any further improvements/extensions since she has been living in it or in the future change any rights? Thank you

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is she paying council tax now?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No she is not. Her parents whose land the property is on are paying council tax but the council does not know about her "shed" i.e the farm hasn't been revalued. I hope that helps


I just need 30 mins to type out an answer for you if thats OK?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes sure go ahead

This is an extremely serious issue potentially

This is a change of use issue and not a building issue.

The enforcement period for change of use is 10 years and therefore if she has no planning permission, and the local authority find out that she has done this, they can make her put it back to how it was within a 10 year period.

The enforcement period for out right building is only 4 years but that does not apply here.

If they find out that she is living in it, the property will be assessed for council tax and they will want council tax back from when they can prove she has lived in it on the basis that it is a separate dwelling.

If the property is leased from the Duchy, the parents are probably in breach of their lease firstly for doing the work without consent and secondly for subletting.

I am sorry that this is bad news for you

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That's brilliant to know, thank you. I guess we best keep quiet about it for another 6 years! Cheers

No problem and all the best.

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