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Can you convert a house into flats without planning permission?

Can you convert a house into flats without planning permission?

To maximize the usage of the house, turning it into flats is a good idea. Moreover, it also has a positive impact on your current income. But there are some legal duties for such positive results of converting a house into flats. This is what we’ve deduced in our 20 years plus experience at Plansing. Before starting the site’s construction, we first need to get planning permission approval on whether the current idea is suitable. The planning authority oversees the proposed idea of conversion and then gives approval or rejection. If this conversion process of turning a house into flats doesn’t violate any law then getting approval is just a piece of cake. However, the planning permission process might become disturbing if you don’t follow the process as per the required standards.

Understanding Planning Permission Basics 

Planning permission is an approval needed before the construction of any project. The planning permission process ensures the safety of the environment, surrounding neighbors, and infrastructure. This needs to be done before the construction, conversion, and demolition processes of any building begin. This process requires time and in case you face rejection, as a result of not knowing the updated policies of the council your process slows down. To avoid all such delay factors you need a team of professionals who’re always there with you while planning the future process. You can hire such professionals easily from Plansing.

The Legal Framework for Conversions 

Plansing is specialized in handling legal framework, all happens because of 20+ years’ experience. Understanding the legal framework for conversion is important if you’ve planned to convert your house into a flat. The legal framework of conversion includes national legislation, local planning policies, and building regulations. All such legal entities are considered to fulfill the required safety and design standards.

National Legislation

While converting your house into a flat you’ve to work under the predefined attributes of National Legislation. Here are some laws outlined that tell us about the legality of the process and provide us with detailed information about what needs to be done and how it should be done.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

This act tells us about the proper use of land and how development needs to be done.

Section 55: This law states that the conversion of the house into a flat requires material changes. For such material changes, you need planning permission. This needs planning permission to make sure that the proposed changes are on point and fulfill all safety standards.

Section 57: The section of this law (Town and Country Planning Act 1990) 

States that there’s always a need to seek Planning Permission before making any changes, but in case you’ve permitted rights of development of that site then you can also skip the permission process.

Town and Country Planning Order 1987

According to this law, if the house was made considering family living, or never used before for another purpose then it comes in the Class 3 (C3) category for such sites we need Planning Permission as the intent of living is also changing.

Still confused?

For Free Consultation Services, call Plansing Professionals.

Cases When Planning Permission May Not Be Required

According to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) 2015, you’re permitted for development if you’re doing it under these circumstances,

Part 3, Class O: You are permitted if construction is done for the conversion of the office into a residential area.

Part 3, Class Q: In the case of converting an agricultural building into a residential you’re also permitted.

In such circumstances, you’re permitted. Converting the house into a flat requires Planning Permission, because the intent there is to convert a single house into multiple flats.

Risks of Proceeding without Planning Permission

Converting a house into a flat requires Planning Permission otherwise, it might give negative results. There are multiple risks associated with not getting Planning Permission, to avoid all such risks property owners must need to take this process seriously. Your risk can be reduced by hiring Planning Permission Surveyor from Plansing.

  1. Enforcement Notice for LPA: If you start your construction work of converting a house into a flat without planning permission. Once the Local Planning Authority comes to know about such development, you’ll be served with an enforcement notice. Law enforcement notice if not followed can also result in legal actions and heavy amount fines.
  2. Financial Penalties: On not taking the scenarios seriously there’s a high chance of losing your hard-earned money in legal proceedings of defending the enforcement notice.
  3. Impact on Property Value and Sale: If you’re lucky enough, and smartly skip the planning permission step before conversion your level of difficulty rises. The value of such properties at the time of sale decreases because of their legal uncertainty and high risks of getting enforcement notice in the future.
  4. Mortgage Issues: Due to an unauthorized conversion of your home into a flat your Mortgage application will be refused. To avoid such refusals planning permission needs to be obtained before conversion starts.
  5. Loss of Rental Income: You may lose your rental earnings if an enforcement notice (served to you) demands the closure of living at that place from your tenants.
How to Apply for Planning Permission


If you’re seeking planning permission for the conversion of your house into a flat. Follow these steps for the best results or call Plansing consultant,


  • Research on Planning Portal
  • Pre-Application Advice
  • Prepare your application
  • Community Involvement
  • Submit your Application
  • Pay Fee
  • Wait for Application Validation
  • Site visit of Planning officer
  • Approval?
  • Refusal?

1) Research: For research, you can visit the Planning permission portal. All necessary information and a complete guide including a calculator is available there. While conducting research, visit your Local Planning Authority (LPA) office and share your plan with them. Not all Local Planning Authority offices offer such consulting services if it’s available near you, go and get a plus point of free advice for the strong application.

2) Pre-Application Advice: This step of taking advice from an experienced Surveyor can save time and effort in the future. An experienced Surveyor knows the legalities and helps you in making a strong application. For experienced consultancy contact Plansing. We’ve been providing the best in the UK Planning Permission services for years now.

3) Prepare your application: 

  • Fill out the form available on the online Planning portal.
  • Also, mention the site plan and block pan of the property that shows the proper relationship of your property with its surrounding area, neighborhood, or road.
  • This application form also requires an architectural drawing of the property that shows the changes along with the current state of the property.
  • After submitting an Architectural Drawing explaining design principles also explain how this design doesn’t harm your neighbor.

4) Community Involvement:  Discuss your plans with your neighbors and any relevant community groups. By doing so, you can reduce the likelihood of objections by addressing concerns at an early stage.

5) Submit your Application: Your Planning permission application can be submitted online or you can also submit it by having an onsite visit,

  1. If you want to submit your application while sitting at home. It can be done by using Planning Portal. This method not only submits your online application but also tracks the progress of the application.
  2. You can also submit your paper application to your LPA. While doing paper submission always keep the exact amount of document copies as specified by LPA.

Note: Online submission is easier, requires less time, and no printout is required while applying. Much easier if done through Plansing.

Alternatives to Converting a House into Flats

Converting a house into a flat is a challenging task and requires a lot of time and effort. You can also consider these alternatives.

  • You can individually rent out the room as a house for multiple occupations that require fewer planning rules. For this alternative, you need a license.
  • Or you can subdivide the property into fewer, larger units. By doing this you can take advantage of a less strict planning process.
  • Another idea of renting out property for short-term or holidays provides flexibility and high rental yields.
  • You can avoid complex planning processes by simply renting out the property as a single-family home.


In conclusion, converting a house into a flat requires a lot of effort, and detailed planning permission is required for it. To avoid mistakes hire a professional Surveyor from Plansing. Doing this will give you a 99% surety of approval. We’ve also discussed the Legal Framework for such purposes above. The consequences of not getting Planning permission are also discussed in this article. Alternatives to Converting a House into Flats are also discussed. We hope this article answers all your planning permission-related questions. Call us now and book your consultation.


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