How To Convert Offices Into Housing?

To address the current housing crisis, the National Assembly unanimously adopted a bill on March 7, 2024, aimed at facilitating the conversion of offices into living spaces. Despite this measure, the procedures to be completed often resemble an obstacle course. To help you see more clearly, we are going to explain how to convert offices into homes.

Where to start?

The first thing to do when you want to convert offices into housing is to check if the local urban plan rules, or PLU, do not oppose it.

Indeed, when converting a space such as an office or a shop into a dwelling, its purpose changes.

This change of purpose is not always permitted by the local urban plan, hence the importance of consulting the PLU at the town hall before any other steps.

What are the urban planning procedures to be carried out?

To obtain permission to change the use of a building and convert offices into housing, you must complete certain urban planning procedures.

These procedures are not the same depending on whether the change of use is accompanied by a modification of the load-bearing structure or the facade of the building.

If you do not modify the load-bearing structure or the facade of the construction, you must file a prior declaration of work (DP) online or via a paper form.

On the other hand, if your project includes a modification of the facade or the load-bearing structure of the building, you must apply for a building permit online or via a paper form.

What are the steps to take with the land registry?

We don't always think about it, but turning offices into homes alters the calculation of property tax for that building.

When a professional space is converted into a dwelling, it is no longer subject to the territorial economic contribution (CET). That's why it's necessary to declare this change of use through a specific form, form 10517.

You must download this form online, print it, fill it out, and provide it to the land registry office that your premises come under, within 90 days of completing the change of use. You can either send it by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt or drop it off directly at the land registry office.

What are the steps in a condominium?

Transforming offices into homes can be even more complicated when the building is a condominium. Indeed, the condominium regulations define the purpose of the building: residential, office, or commercial use.

If your project does not comply with the building's designated purpose, you must request permission to change the use of the premises at the general meeting.

In this case, it is not easy to obtain this authorization because the decision must be made unanimously by all co-owners.

What does the bill adopted by the deputies change?

In France, there is a real paradox between the difficulty of finding housing and the number of vacant offices, especially since the Covid crisis and the rise of teleworking. It is estimated that 4.5 million square kilometers of office space are unoccupied in the Île-de-France region alone.

This striking contrast undoubtedly encouraged deputies to adopt, on first reading on March 7, 2024, a bill simplifying the conversion of offices into housing. This type of operation, which involves making new out of old, can sometimes be very profitable, particularly when converting square meters of empty offices into student or senior housing.

The text allows municipalities to waive, on a case-by-case basis, the local urban plan, the famous PLU. They can now change the use of offices in areas that, in principle, are not intended for housing.

Local elected officials can also apply the development tax to these transformation operations to fund new public facilities. Until now, some municipalities were reluctant to authorize such real estate projects, as a business brings in more taxes than a resident, and they did not want to deprive themselves of tax revenue.

Finally, this bill introduces a novelty called the multi-purpose construction permit. This new type of construction permit allows changing the use of a building without having to request a new urban planning authorization.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Sonny Sixteen on Pexels
Tags: urban plan, Condominium, urban planning, facade, Land Registry, Construction permit, municipalities, paper, load-bearing, Ile-de-France, teleworking, région, senior housing, tax, real estate, tax revenue, Covid crisis, paradox, resemble, Town Hall, building permit, property tax, cet, registry office, registered mail, France, National Assembly,
In French: Comment transformer des bureaux en logements ?
En español: ¿Cómo transformar oficinas en viviendas?
In italiano: Come trasformare degli uffici in abitazioni?
Auf Deutsch: Wie kann man Büros in Wohnungen umwandeln?
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