Converting Bedroom 1 to 2

Currently I am looking at turning kitchen into second bed and make living room open plan kitchen so you get 2 bedrooms in an ex-council.

Before I go ahead, could I ask for some advice if anyone done that before and what is the downstream implication of it? e.g. is it as simple as I just do it and then it turns into a 2 bed or i need some license and report or land registry (i don’t know) what happens down the line?

any advise will be much appreciated!

I assume your property will be leasehold you will therefore need to get permission from the freeholder to make any alterations.

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So once they are happy with your work and that’s it? so when you are selling or remortgage you get a surveyor and it looks like 2 bed so then the info on this flat just turn into 2 bed? i.e. the valuation just became a 2 bed standard all of a sudden so you can get more let’s say BTL amount or sell for a higher price?

That wouldn’t be a property I would be interested in buying somewhere down the line.

It is a flat but why is that not a property if all size are all reasonable and new build flats are open plan and small most of the time. So this could be a competitive choice?

Well of course if you are talking about house in the suburbs to have a family that is another story, but we are talking about a flat in the heart of city centre. It all depends on what stage in your life you are in really. A lot of youngsters prefer this way and later in their life when they have kids starts to move elsewhere that has a garden etc.

my lease from council says i can’t make any structural changes (which you aren’t, just re-formatting) and cannot remove any “fixtures and fittings” without prior consent. in most of the flats in my block people knocked down the wall in between kitchen and lounge to make big open plan lounge, what you want to do is move kitchen onto other side of wall and turn existing kitchen into bedroom. I don’t see it could be any worse than knocking the kitchen wall down as long as you don’t touch any structural elements and don’t move any f&fs. i bet you other people already did this in your block, check the neighbours. One problem though will be ventilation, a tell tale sign is if you look up the outside of the block at the kitchen windows look to see what people have done with the original vents, how many people have blocked it up, etc (in mine we have very big window vents). most council flats still have 90 years left on lease and it is totally unreasonable to prevent owners making minor formatting changes. for ventilation what people probably do is build the mechanical ventilation through a new conduit out through the original ventilation riser. also, look at photos of what other people have done inside, you can go to rightmove and under “sold prices” you can see all the historical sales of flats in your block with photos.

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If leasehold a deed of variation is needed. You will most probably need consent from freeholder before converting. Read your lease and check with them. Do not convert without consent if its needed.

It’s not unreasonable to disallow these types of changes imo, more rooms equals more people which equals more noise. Neighbours of flats may not like the idea of this, understandably. They bought the property knowing they were all one bed and now all of a sudden it’s now 2 or more even.

Changing a rooms function can affect the people below or next door. Ie neighbour below once had bedroom above their bedroom and now they have a kitchen or bathroom above, clearly this could cause an issue with noise.

More rooms do not necessarily add value as the square footage remains the same.

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well can’t go ahead without research, basically same block they are selling 20% more, same size way higher than price sold. There was one big old one bed in another building turned into 2 bed with some renovation, sold for 150k more. it only got purchased for 1-2 years before sold for 150k higher, so surely it is a flip

well, it seems some ex-council owner make changes without prior consent, but speaking of F&Fs isn’t kitchen F&Fs? so I do need consent?

Also one thing to mention is that, moving kitchen does need to consider where the waste pipe and water main goes. so basically now this new extra bedroom will have a waste pipe running across the length of the extra bedroom as the living room at the other end is next to it where it will have the new kitchen’s sink.

Also getting rid of the waste pipe running across the extra bedroom, wall will need to be drilled to hide the 4m long waste pipe in. not sure if that is a structural change?

Also, the other question is, the new bedroom (old kitchen) only has a door separates living room and the old kitchen. would that still count as a bedroom without a hallway between them? Because i haven’t seem bedrooms right next to a living room just separated by a door.

What does this mean?

Your freeholder should be able to answer your questions about what they consider to be changes that you need their consent for. Also you will need to ensure the relevant building regulations are being followed e.g. compliant fire safety routes, insulation, fireproofing etc. If there are flats below / above, you may also need to show that there is sufficient sound proofing. Have you checked minimum space requirements for a bedroom in your council?

It’s unlikely that you will be able to commence any of this work without involving the freeholder, and possibly sorting out a deed of variation on your lease, as Mark mentioned.

It seems highly unlikely that you would get permission from the freeholder, (Council) for the conversion and if you go ahead without it you would be in breach of your lease and the Council could apply to forfeit. You would also find it very difficult to ever sell it.


Why is it unlikely? it is just moving the kitchen right?

I was just referring the population who purchased ex-council flat doing changes without informing the council

you seem determined to do it So just go ahead. This is the answer you are waiting for. Then you will find out who is right


In the process waiting from the council, probably going to take years and lots of nos.

You will never be able to sell it if you do without consent, certainly not at the price you would want

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Its unlikely partly because its the Council, who will not want to see an increase in the density of the housing in the block, but mostly because your lease probably has an absolute prohibition on this kind of conversion.

That is why i am seeking consent from the council. So basically what it says is that if you did something and later found out it is without consent and not allowed, there is a chance for them to ask you put it back. so I would assume that is when you are selling. So to avoid any uncertainty in the future and potential higher cost, getting their consent for big work such as this is essential.

Permission is essential, but as I said, I dont think youll get it.