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No building regulations- reduce offer?

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  • No building regulations- reduce offer?

    Hello,

    Like some of you, we are intending to buy a house that has a loft conversion and internal wall removal for which no evidence of building regulations can be found. There is also an extension for which no planning permission can be found, although we believe this was created at least 25 years ago. Our solicitor has suggested indemnity insurance, but isn't this just 'papering over the cracks?' We are cash buyers but is this likely to affect the mortgage application for any potential future buyers, or just put buyers off in general?

    We are not sure whether to ask the council to come in to approve the work- they have not been contacted so far. Our vendors are in a hurry, so are unlikely to agree to this before we exchange contracts. Would it be reasonable for us to lower our offer to cover any future expenses in having the work approved or any loss of value to the house? We did have a building survey done which did not find any major problems with the work, but a structural engineer may be needed to uncover the work to put our mind at rest and reassure future buyers.

    We are not sure quite how to proceed

  • #2
    Re: No building regulations- reduce offer?

    Hi
    if you contact the council you can not get the indemnity insurance as this protects you from the cost of the council finding out the work has been done and either putting t back to the original state or making it meet current regs.
    As a wall has been removed and loft converted I would suggest getting a structural engineer in. Ask him to evaluate if it is safe and was done correctly at the time. If it was, and you are planning to stay their for a long time I think the indemnity policy may be ok. If you want more protection ask the structural engineer to estimate the cost of making the work meet current regs, add on the fees for retrospective permission to be obtained and take that off your offer. You can then get it sorted out once you move in.

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    • #3
      Re: No building regulations- reduce offer?

      Thank you Betsie-

      Do you think this will be a quicker option than contacting the council? I am not sure what they will need to do to regularise the work- will it involve the same sort of inspection that a building control officer would carry out anyway? Would we able to show this survey to any potential buyers? There will still be the worry of the work not being approved by the council

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      • #4
        Re: No building regulations- reduce offer?

        Thank you Betsie-

        Do you think this will be a quicker option than contacting the council? I am not sure what they will need to do to regularise the work- will it involve the same sort of inspection that a building control officer would carry out anyway? Would we able to show this survey to any potential buyers? There will still be the worry of the work not being approved by the council

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        • #5
          Re: No building regulations- reduce offer?

          You have to see all this in the context that people buy older houses with all sorts of things in them that would be nowhere near meeting modern standards.
          RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
          As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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          • #6
            Re: No building regulations- reduce offer?

            Hi,
            I am also in the process of buying a house which we have just found out does not have planning permission/Building Regs for an extension built about 20 years ago. The build seems sound as the structural survey indicated no problems in this area of the house. We have been advise to take out Indemnity Insurance by our solicitor, but are concerned about the clauses it has in respect of any New Works. The clause states:
            where any New Works (whether proposed or actual, essential or non-essential) resulting in Enforcement the Insurer shall not be liaable for Loss in respect of those parts of the existing Property that would be affected by the New Works or would require improvement or alteration in order to obtain a building certificate on the New Works (whether the New Works proceed or not).
            This sounds like we would become liable if we should want to improve the property in the future and in applying for planning permission for the New Works alert the Council to the existing 'unauthorised' works?
            Is this insurance worth the paper it is written on?

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