Application for a certificate of lawfulness for the use of an outbuilding as a separate, self-contained dwelling

Certificate of Lawfulness Granted on 28 May 2024

Outbuilding four year rule

74 Charter Avenue,
Newbury Park,

Council: London Borough of Redbridge

Section 171B(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 sets out a time limit of four years for councils to take enforcement action against new dwellings that have been created without planning permission. 

This ‘four year rule’ was abolished in April 2024, but it can still be used as long as the new dwelling was created before then.

In this case, the homeowner had built an outbuilding in his rear garden back in 2011 and had later converted it into a house that he rented out to tenants.

The council approached him to say that they had had reports that the outbuilding was being unlawfully used as a dwelling, so we recommended that he apply for a certificate of lawfulness to confirm that it had been in continuous use for at least four years.

We helped the client compile evidence, including tenancy agreements, rent receipts, details of deposits, electrical installations certificate, maintenance records, energy performance certificates, letters from neighbours and various statutory declarations.

In total, we submitted 26 separate exhibits, along with a detailed supporting statement.

We were delighted when Redbridge accepted our evidence and issued a lawful development certificate. 

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