The rising costs of house prices in the UK mean that more people are looking to rent. As the landlord of a buy-to-let property you can make a reasonable income, but with living costs and tax implications, you still have to meet your own financial obligations.
Adding an extra room in the attic of your property enables you to extend your income and adds a stylish dimension to the household that young professionals find appealing. With the innovative designs modern day loft conversion specialists are capable of, you will have no problems filling the vacancy.
Providing they are designed properly, attic rooms can be fitted with en-suite bathrooms – another selling point to renters sharing with other people. With sufficient sound-proofing and heating, attic rooms are great living spaces.
Return on investment
A typical attic room costs somewhere in the region of £30,000, but in the UK you can charge rent from £500 upwards, depending on the area you live and the size of the attic. In two and half years you will have recovered your outlay and will be earning £500 on your rented property each month. There are not many investments that offer that kind of return in such a short turnaround.
Remodelling your attic also improves the energy efficiency of the property, so not only will you save on heating costs, but you can also take advantage of government incentives and lower the amount of green tax payable on the house when the levy is introduced.
Green tax has already been launched in France, and energy firms in the UK are already discussing introducing similar schemes in Britain. It won’t be long before householders are hit with another tax and even costlier energy bills than you are already paying now.
Things to consider when converting attic space
It is conceivable why landlords would seriously consider renovating an attic into a living space, and there are certain legal responsibilities you should be aware of. You should establish whether your property is subject to “permitted development” or not.
As a general rule, if the roof does not extend more than 40 cubic metres in a terraced house, or 50m in a semi-detached, the highest part of the extension is not higher than the original roof and the extension does not include balconies or raised platforms you do not have to apply for planning permission from the council.
There are however, other measurements and local building rules that might apply such as whether the property is in a conservation area, a listed building or situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. A conversion specialist can help you determine whether or not your property does qualify. Otherwise you need to apply for planning permission.
If your property shares a boundary or wall, you also have a duty to inform your neighbours. This is known as a party wall and will protect you against any legal action if damage is caused to the adjoining property. The neighbouring residents also have a say over the hours building work can be conducted.
If you are a landlord and wish to consider a loft conversion, contact our Loft City for more advice and ask to look at our designs.
City Lofts London – award-winning builders
0845 519 4321
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