Before entering into building a commercial property, converting a structure into commercial premises, or modifying your current working space, you need to understand the legalities.
There are many laws, rules and regulations that you have to be aware of, and here at First4Lawyers, our property solicitors are here to help you consider your options and make sense of the mass of legal jargon.
Speaking to one of our experts can mean you’re less likely to run into costly issues, or fall foul of the law later down the line.
What are my legal considerations when planning a commercial property build?
Exactly what you’ll need to consider will depend on your circumstances, but you should be aware of potential issues around things like planning applications and appeals, Section 106 legal agreements, and community infrastructure levies as defined by the The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.
A solicitor will be able to give you a better idea of exactly what you need to consider before and during the process.
Do I need planning permission for alterations I make to commercial premises?
If you own the building it’s unlikely you will need planning permission for minor changes to interiors. However, you may need it for more significant alterations. With this in mind, it is important to check with your local council first. All major alterations must conform to building regulations.
If you lease/rent the building, be aware that some lease/rental agreements forbid alterations, although in some cases a landlord may be willing to share the costs of certain alterations with you.
What about if I want to turn my home into a work space?
If you want to work at home you will only need planning permission to use it as premises if your work affects the surrounding area, or alters the way the building is used in a fundamental way.
How do I apply for planning permission?
You should seek planning permission from your local planning authority. You will be able to either download the appropriate forms online, or request/collect paper copies from them.
You will likely have to pay a fee when you submit the application - the fee will vary depending on the type of planning permission you wish to undertake.
I carried out major alterations without permission – is there a time limit on enforcement procedures?
The relevant authorities must take action within either four or 10 years; exactly how long will depend on the nature of the breach.
How can First4Lawyers help with commercial property planning?
We strongly advise that you seek professional advice before beginning the processes around building or modifying a commercial structure, or converting a building into commercial premises.
First4Lawyers can assign a property solicitor to help you following a no-obligation discussion about what you want to do, and your particular circumstances. We are ready to offer expert advice at any stage of the planning process – just get in touch.