How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12183
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
Type Your Scots Law Question Here...
JGM is online now

I am purchasing a Cafe in Edinburgh. The current owner has

This answer was rated:

I am purchasing a Cafe in Edinburgh. The current owner has lived there for 7 years but has now returned to the states. The property does not have residential status and I was wondering what my options were?
Thank you for your question.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Has the property been converted from a cafe to a dwelling? What do you intend to do with the property?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi thanks,


The property was a public toilet/changing room, council owned then sold off freehold and has been used as a cafe/tea room ever since. There is a substantial portion of the property that the current owner lived in, unofficially, for the past 7 years. A family friend who works for an English council planning department told me that if I could prove the building had been used for residential purposes over the past 4 years then the council would have to grant the building residential status. I wanted to know if there is a similar provision under Scottish law? I currently operate the Cafe and am purchasing the property for that purpose but would be interested in getting residential or dual use status.

An enforcement notice may only be served within four years of a breach of planning control consisting of the change of use of any building to use as a single dwelling house. See the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 section 124(2) which is the section in the Scottish legislation that mirrors the English legislation referred to by your friend.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you