Changing House from Commercial to Residential?

Anyone have any experience in changing the classification of a property from Commercial back to Residential?

I’ve been told by an EA that a property I looked at is ‘zoned Commercial’ and that I would have to apply for it to be changed back to residential after I purchased it.

I know very little about this process and don’t want to get stuck with a house I can’t live in!

Finally I’m aware there would be a 6% stamp fee as it’s Commercial but would there then be additional monthly ‘Commercial rates’ due while I was in the process of applying for residential?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Speak to an architect as you will need to apply for planning permission…

In addition there is a tread on the pin about offers subject to planning.

My belief (which is not really based on anything other than bits I’ve picked up) is that getting planning permission in this direction isn’t likely to be a big deal as long as the property is suitably serviced etc. The problems are when you’re going in the other direction, or trying to convert a house into multiple flats, etc.

But yes, ask an architect.

Planning wise - It is not individual properties that are zoned for particular uses - but areas.
Your Local Authority will have a Development Plan which will indicate these and also list allowable other development types within the overall zoning of the particular area.
What you may be involved with here is a ‘Change of Use’ application.
Get, and heed, professional advice!

Speak to the architect in your local authority who will advise you on the necessary application required to be submitted for the change of use.

While there ask to speak with the Revenue Collector for your area and explain that the property you are buying was commercial, tell them the date you bought it and that it is going to be used as domestic only. The RC will send an application to the Valuation Office in Dublin to have the property revised from Commercial to Domestic. You shouldn’t be liable for commercial rates in the interm period.

Areas are zoned according to the uses the council see as fit for the area. Zoning lasts for the life of a development plan.

If the house you are looking to buy is in an area zoned for commercial use, you need to find out if residential use is permitted in principle in under that zoning objective.

You have v little chance of a spot (as in site specific) re-zoning during the life of a edvelopment plan.

You need planning advice,not architectural advice.

From my very lay perspective : There’s obviously a difference depending on the area: e.g. Merrion Square office conversion rather than the Coolock industrial estate. Chances are that the area is zoned “mixed”, no?

There are swathes of D2 and D4 ripe for office to home reversion; I’d be interested down the line myself

Yes and no. There are differences in areas, yes. Every authority uses different labels for their zones. So, for example there could be - and are - 4 different types of residential zoning in a particular development plan. Likewise commercial is broken into many distinct elements. Urban authorities rarely have a straightforward “residential” or “commercial” zone what you have are zones like “new residential”, “primary residential” etc. likewise with areas zoned for commercial use: you can have “industrial”, “neighbourhood centre” “business” etc. Each zoning objectives stipulates what you can and cant do in the area. So within each zone there is a list of uses that are “permitted in principle”, “open for consideration” and “prohibited”. For example in a residential area, you will find that residenial use is permitted in principle but maybe a discount food store is only open for consideration. The criteria that apply to each are different. One can presume a predisposition towards a grant of permission for a use that is permitted in princple in an area.

the OP’s agent told him the area was zoned commercial So, the op needs to check the relevant development plan and find out the exact zoning of the area in which his house is. For example is it a neighbourhood centre commercial zone or a primarily business park zone or a town centre retail zone. etc. Zones are usually idenified by a letter; eg R for residential, E for employment, NC for neighbourhood centre etc. They are also colour coded on the maps. Then the OP needs to go to the back of the plan and find out if residential use is permitted in principle or open for consideration under that particular zoning objective that applies to his chosen house.

If the house is currently in use as a commercial premises, he will need to apply for planning permission to use it for residential use. If that is permitted in principle under the zoning objective you’re likely to get permission. If its open for consideration it can be more difficult. Presumably the structure is a house though and was built for that purpose so there was residential use at some point.

OP you are welcome to pm me is you wish.

Thanks for all the replies. We have since decided not to go ahead with the property as it needed more extensive work than we would be up for.
For the sake of the conversation the property we were looking at was 106 Upper Leeson Street: … lin/219949

In terms of what we saw, it does appear that this was once used as residential and I can’t see any reason why local authority wouldn’t want it reverted back to residential however the vendor is not currently willing to make the application which also means that any buyer would have to pay stamp at 6%, get approval for a mortgage based on this, and go through the paper work of getting it back to residential.

Thanks for the useful information about your experiences.

Can you say how much you offered for the propery?

thats a different thing entirely. that property is a protected structure in a residential conservation zone. FWIW, unless you have bucket loads of cash, you made the right decision.

I suspect the EA was refering to the rating of the property rather than the zoning of it. I took you up wrong.
Rating is not a planning matter.

Gorgeous house though and it would make a fine family home.

I didn’t make an offer in the end but I’d imagine they’d take condsiderbly less than the asking price given the complications with additinal stamp etc.

It is a gorgeous house and quite a unique location. It has a small bathroom upstairs that’s an easy enough conversion to put in shower but downstairs you’d need to knock some internal walls, and change the layout to put in a proper kitchen. All of which might not be easy and probably expensive given the above news on conservation zone. Main problem is the noise. You are surrounded on both sides. Obviously you could change the windows to reduce this but given the location you’re always going to have to live with some level of noise…so it depends on what you’re up for!

My search goes on!