All Topics / Commercial Property / Buying Commercial Property without Change of Use permission(Permitted Develop.)

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  • Profile photo of george7george7
    Join Date: 2023
    Post Count: 0

    I am offering on a commercial building. It has ground floor, first floor and basement.
    It was used by a Bank around 3 years ago. Someone bought it 2 years ago and rented the ground floor alone to a shop. Shop is closed now and the owner is selling the property.

    The entire building has got Class E permission.

    My intention is buy the property and then convert the first floor (office area) to a flat without making too much changes. I will not make any structural changes.

    The ground floor was used as a shop, basement was not used (may be it can be used as a storage for the shop). I will be running a business in the shop (ground floor).

    First floor is office space and vacant for more than 2 years. It has already kitchen, male toilet, female toilet, 4 rooms and separate entrance to the first floor.

    I believe it comes under Permitted Development (E to MA). The seller will NOT wait until I get the permission from the council.

    I am not sure whether it is safe to buy the property even if it comes under permitted development without having the E to MA conversion approved by the council.

    I was wondering whether anyone has done similar purchase without change of use approved.

    • This topic was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of george7 george7.
    Profile photo of Steve McKnightSteve McKnight
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 1,763

    Hello George7,

    You have identified an issue in your due diligence, and you are right to want to try to manage and mitigate it.

    However, it appears you cannot do as the vendor will not wait.

    If it were me, I would go under contract with a general 45 or 60 day due diligence clause and seek to do my own investigations. Perhaps you want to point to some other need for the clause though, perhaps to get your finance sorted? Once under contract I would approach a town planner for assistance.

    Assuming you cannot cover the risk, you have to assess your risk appetite to proceed (or not) with the known risk. Does the upside outweigh the downside by enough of a margin for the risk. You also want to be paid extra for the risk.


    – Steve

    Steve McKnight | Pty Ltd | CEO

    Success comes from doing things differently

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