Q. I have just bought a house that has a bus stop outside and it appears that the bus company is going to erect a shelter.
Q. I have just bought a house that has a bus stop outside and it appears that the bus company is going to erect a shelter. I have not been notified by the council about this and I'm not happy about the prospect of shattered glass outside my house every Saturday night. What can I do?
CW, by e-mail
A. Planning permission is not usually required for a bus shelter, however, if there are advertisements displayed these will require permission, taking into account if they are to be illuminated. You are right to have concerns over vandalism. Contact the highways or street services departments at your local council with your comments and at the very least request that toughened Perspex be used instead of glass.
Q. I would like to sell a large freehold detached property in a pleasant suburban road that is divided into three self-contained flats. It has been valued at £320,000 and similar properties nearby sell for around £400,000 as a complete house. I have had estimates of around £70,000 to convert it back into a house. I have been letting the flats for the past 10 years and, at present, the ground-floor flat is vacant and the other two flats are let on six-month shorthold tenancies. My dilemma is how to market the property. Should I leave the ground-floor flat vacant in case someone would like to buy the property as an investment and live in this flat while renting out the others for an income, or should I sell the flats off individually each with a share of the freehold?
AK, by e-mail
A. Take advice from local estate agents regarding the type of people they have looking for a property on their books and what sort of property is selling well at the moment. You will also have to consider the strength of the rental market and if this is likely to attract an investor. You could also get the flats valued individually to see if this would be a financially better option for you. Obviously, this would mean finding three buyers instead of one and you would be very lucky to complete on three flats at the same time.
If these properties are highly sought after, you may find someone willing to spend the money re-converting the property, if not, it's unlikely that you will find a buyer of this kind. If you have time, you could try selling the whole house first. If this does not seem to work, you can then opt to sell it off separately. Take advice from your solicitor on the pros and cons of dividing the freehold.
If you can afford to, it may be best to leave the flat vacant at present. It may make co-ordinating viewing times with tenants easier and you could also consider having a couple of open days rather than individual viewings.
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