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Mortgage options: Commercial or Buy to Let?

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  • Mortgage options: Commercial or Buy to Let?

    Hi All,

    Currently looking at purchasing a property currently used as office/retail space, as listed by the county councils website.

    I would like to convert the property into either 3 flats or 3 flats and small office/retail unit. The property is split over 3 floors:

    Front ground being the shop front - would plan to keep or make large lounge
    Rear ground (with access) toilet, utility, office - being a small bedsit or flat
    1st floor - 1 bed flat
    2nd floor - 1 bed flat

    Clearly I'd need permission to convert from the council,although all alterations are non-structural/cosmetic? It's in a conservation area.

    A mortgage advisor is currently looking at commercial and buy to let mortgages for me.


    1. As is current use is as retail/office and therefore commercially mortgageable, can the conversion and letting count as a commercial venture under the retail/office guise?

    a. With the shop front?
    b. Without the shop front?

    2. Would a buy to let mortgage enable me to mortgage the whole building (i.e. shop and flats) or would I need 2 mortgages?

    3. What planning/consent/usage requirements do I need from the council?

    Many Thanks!


  • #2
    Re: Mortgage options: Commercial or Buy to Let?

    Q's - no - commercial use means what the property is being used as for its main purpose - ie, residential, retail, offices, etc.

    If you are planning to convert to flats, then you will need to apply for planning permission to change the property use to residential as opposed to commercial.

    However, do be aware of the potential of local objections - certainly in my small town, if someone were to try and convert one of the commercial properties to flats, they would be crucified by the locals. Bear that in mind. (Our local council would almost certainly not allow the change of use either due to the zone).