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Living in a commercial property if it is owned. What are the penalities?

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  • Living in a commercial property if it is owned. What are the penalities?

    Dear "really moving" experts,
    Please could you advise on the following. I've offered to do some research for a friend of mine who owns a commercial property in Wales. They used to also own a house, but during the recession they had to sell their home to fund the business. They now have a pitch 10 months of the year on a caravan park and basically live the remaining 2 in a what is essentially a flat above the shop. They legitimately want to change the use of the building to residential with a view to making it into flats. They are worried if they approach architects > who will ultimately have to approach the council > as they have been effectively "off grid" for a while and not paying council tax.... but they have been paying business taxes etc.
    One final point, they will have fully payed the mortgage on this property in May this year.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as it's causing a lot of anxiety for my friend.
    Thank you,