If a new dwelling is created without planning permission, it becomes lawful after four years. This is known as the four year rule.
To get confirmation from the council that the property is lawful, you can apply for a certificate of lawfulness.
In this case, we submitted an application on behalf of clients whose house had been created many years ago out of a two-storey side extension to another house.
We submitted persuasive evidence of the lawfulness of the house and were delighted when the certificate was issued.