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  • Refurbish/Develop

    Boris the Bold has put paid to capital’s rabbit hutches

    From the Evening Standard.
    The minimum space standards the Mayor is talking about will outlaw the 300 square foot studio flat and ban builders from squeezing two bedrooms into flats sometimes as small as 500 sq ft. Instead the minimum size for a one-bed flat will be 550 sq ft. Those with two bedrooms must be no smaller than 770 sq ft.
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-b...to+capital
    Comments?
    Note the idea of more space sounds great while the pressure it will put on costs should help push up prices for the buyer. Space is not free.
    John Corey
    http://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
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    John Corey 


    I host the London Real Estate Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month since 2005. If you have never been before, email me for the 'new visitor' link.

    PropertyFortress.com/Events

    Also happy to chat on the phone. Pay It Forward; my way of giving back through sharing. Click on the link: PropertyFortress.com/Ask-John to book a time. I will call you at the time you selected. Nothing to buy. Just be prepared with your questions so we can use the 20 minutes wisely.

    Interesting, thanks for posting John.
    Some people don't want to live full time in the flat, just use it as a "crash pad". On that basis, I think it's okay to have a small flat. Maybe studios should not have a full "residential" status - like some holiday park homes - and they can only be used X number of days per year or something. Not sure how this would be regulated though.
    Otherwise, it's generally positive to ensure more space and it might help stablise prices if there is some sort of standard?
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    This is not something I agree with or think practical in London where space is at a premium.
    In the area I'm familiar with it's common to create an open plan space by relocating the kitchen into the living room. Doing this comfortably provides a 3 bedroom flat of 700 sq ft. You need to be creative with your use of space but that's a developers job.
    Picture this, the flat I live in is a typical Victorian conversion, common to South London and, without the loft conversion, is 750 sq ft - so below the proposed limit. Room sizes: Living Room: 18 x 16, Bedroom one: 12 x 12, Bedroom two: 10 x 7, Kitchen: 12 x 10.
    With my developer head on I could create an open plan living area by relocating the kitchen. This then creates an acceptable sized third bedroom where the kitchen used to be. The original second bedroom isn't a great size so I think I'll remove the chimney breast and extend that bedroom. After the renovation I'm left with three bedrooms of 12 x 12, 12 x 10 and 10 x 10. Acceptable sizes in my part of London and that's without utilising the hall area.
    One of my pals is going to be fuming when I tell him as this has been his bread and butter over the last few years.
    Rubbish.
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    Marcus,
    What are the fire regulations when the kitchen is not in a self-contained room with a fire door? It is my understanding that many situations require the kitchen to be a space that can be closed off when a fire starts as that allows the residents more time to evacuate.
    John Corey
    https://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
    https://www.Twitter.com/John_Corey
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    John Corey 


    I host the London Real Estate Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month since 2005. If you have never been before, email me for the 'new visitor' link.

    PropertyFortress.com/Events

    Also happy to chat on the phone. Pay It Forward; my way of giving back through sharing. Click on the link: PropertyFortress.com/Ask-John to book a time. I will call you at the time you selected. Nothing to buy. Just be prepared with your questions so we can use the 20 minutes wisely.

    Roberta, I agree it's not an ideal living enviroment and not something I favour but it definitely appeals to some; particularly the young who see open plan 'communal living' as an adventure. (Thinking about this, I'm mainly referring to properties that have been developed for rental)
    Smell is an issue and a deal breaker for some, but not all. Noises from a washing machine/dryer can be overcome by locating to the bathroom - provided it's a reasonable size. Not ideal for some but it does work and looks great hidden in a fitted unit.
    John, the kitchen would be in a self contained room with a fire door as the main living area door would be upgraded - along with the rest of the house. (Not sure if things have changed lately? May need verifying)
    I'll put a call into my pal and see if he can fill me in on the finer details, then let you know.
    Best wishes.
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    Marcus,
    The code for electrical applianced changed a while back so you cannot locate the washer/dryer in the bathroom. I tried that just after the code changed and my architect caught the issue before it was too late.
    John Corey
    https://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
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    John Corey 


    I host the London Real Estate Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month since 2005. If you have never been before, email me for the 'new visitor' link.

    PropertyFortress.com/Events

    Also happy to chat on the phone. Pay It Forward; my way of giving back through sharing. Click on the link: PropertyFortress.com/Ask-John to book a time. I will call you at the time you selected. Nothing to buy. Just be prepared with your questions so we can use the 20 minutes wisely.

    REI said:
    The code for electrical applianced changed a while back so you cannot locate the washer/dryer in the bathroom. I tried that just after the code changed and my architect caught the issue before it was too late.
    My understanding is you can install a washing machine in a bathroom provided it is outside zone 2 and on a fused spur, as opposed to a 13 amp plug. Zone 2 is 600mm horizontal from bath or shower edge so not that difficult to achieve. Relevant information found in Section 701 of BS 7671 17th Edition. Discussed here.
    Not sure why your architect advised you otherwise - space constraints maybe?
    Marcus
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    Hmmmm, not sure how I feel about this one. Rabbit hutches are hard to inhabit and builders do squeeze bizaar shapes and sizes. Almost as creatively as the estate agent description of a closet. We do live on a small island but it's a big country. I get a bit miffed with the congestion and I wish we could sprawl a bit more - yes, encroach on some of the green space but sensibly with the environment and not mega mansions capitalising on the added space (unless it's me of course). I digress on a tangent but if anyone should be occupying studio flats, it should firstly be the MP's. Put them in a Boris Borscht and rid the 2nd and 3rd and even 4th home rules.
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    Gail Davies said:
    I digress on a tangent but if anyone should be occupying studio flats, it should firstly be the MP's. Put them in a Boris Borscht and rid the 2nd and 3rd and even 4th home rules.
    Hear, Hear! Gail Davis for Prime Minister.
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    I think Boris needs to recognise that space is at a premium in the capital, and that there is always a shortage of affordable accommodation for young people working there. Forcing developers to provide larger flats won't help that situation at all.
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    Having minimum standards in terms of habitability is a well established concept. Why do we think it is required that people have running water, heating, and a dry space (as opposed to leaky roofs) when in the past the standard was much lower?
    Stating that a room has to meet a certain size is not all that odd. Yes, it will mean that people need to pay more compared to living in a smaller space or just pitching a tent. Cities are like that and have been for a very long time.
    Why should we require developers to sell units at a discount just because some people are poor? Why not tell the poor to move away from the city? Some will say we need poor people to do the jobs that do not pay well. That having an integrated society with a mix of economic classes is helpful socially while helping the rich get things done that they do not want to do ('key workers').
    I am generally a supporter for some happy medium. That can mean that no one is happy. Or it could mean that better transport lets the less well off live further out but at a reasonable distance in terms of commute time. The rise of the Underground in London had exactly that effect. Similar to how trains allowed people and goods to be transported longer distances at a reasonable cost.
    If people want to live in hutches they likely can do so. We might call them HMOs. You rent a room in a boarding house rather than a self-contained flat. The standards for HMO are legally different.
    John Corey
    https://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
    Follow me on Twitter -> https://www.twitter.com/john_corey
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    John Corey 


    I host the London Real Estate Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month since 2005. If you have never been before, email me for the 'new visitor' link.

    PropertyFortress.com/Events

    Also happy to chat on the phone. Pay It Forward; my way of giving back through sharing. Click on the link: PropertyFortress.com/Ask-John to book a time. I will call you at the time you selected. Nothing to buy. Just be prepared with your questions so we can use the 20 minutes wisely.