19 Feb

New planning system could help landlords

New planning system could help landlords

Changes to the UK planning system have been welcomed by the real estate industry and could help landlords make profitable changes to their properties.

Under the new proposals, a planning court has been created that will make use of specialist judges to deal with tricky property schemes and proposals.

It is hoped the changes, announced by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, will help to speed up the planning application process and ensure landlords and property owners will have their plans decided in a timely manner.

Many organisations within the industry have backed the changes because they believe it will replace the current outdated and slow system that often leads to significant delays and hassle for homeowners.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said: "The introduction of a specialist court like this is likely to have a significant impact on delivery as it relieves the pressure on developers and planning authorities and will expedite the whole planning process."

Adrian Penfold, head of planning and corporate responsibility at British Land, added the new court will ensure developers and those opposing planning applications will be dealt with correctly.

One crucial change is that third parties who intervene in a judicial review case will be held responsible for their own costs and any costs incurred by another party as a result of their action.

The new court will begin hearing cases in the summer and it is expected to oversee around 400 applications each year.

Mr Grayling also added the changes will help balance the need to ensure applications are subjected to due diligence but not at the expense of economic growth across the UK.

He added: "Judicial review must continue its role as a crucial check on the powers that be but we cannot allow meritless cases to be a brake on economic growth. That would be bad for the economy, the taxpayer and the job seeker and bad for confidence in justice."

There are a number of ways for buy-to-let landlords to make changes to their properties to boost their appeal to tenants and maximise rental yields - some requiring planning permission and others not.

According to a report released by Nationwide, the adding of a new bedroom on the home could see the value of the house rise by up to 12 per cent and is appealing to families looking to rent a home with a bit more space.

A second bathroom could also push values up by six per cent and could help resale prices further down the line, as well as improving appeal to potential renters and making sure it is of the market quickly.

Other options for improvements, include building a conservatory or adding a garage to provide tenants with a place to ensure their car is secure.

The recent stormy weather has also highlighted the need to ensure current buildings are in a good standard of repair and landlords are being reminded to make sure their properties have not suffered any long damage during the recent flooding and high winds.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801695057-ADNFCR

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