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Building regulations/planning approval

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  • Building regulations/planning approval

    Hi all - first post here, hoping you can help. Thanks in advance!

    We're looking at a property to buy, and had some questions about whether there should have been building regs certificates or planning permission granted for various changes (I have a horrible feeling that the answer is yes...). They have no certification for any of the work.

    1) They've put up a stud wall to separate kitchen from dining room, and have installed a concrete lintel within it as the ceiling was apparently bowing.

    2) They've knocked down a stud wall between lounge and dining room, leaving the original RSJ in place.

    3) There's a kitchen extension that has been there since the 70s.

    All of the work appears to be of high quality, and we're getting a surveyor's report done before moving, so I'm not concerned about structural features. I'm more worried about planning/building regs. Wondering whether the extension is exempt, given how long ago it was built. Also wondering whether I should be asking the vendor to shell out for an indemnity policy. Also, how destructive would any retrospective inspection need to be in the circumstances?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Building regulations/planning approval

    Planning permission not going to be relevant unless it is a listed building needing consent for internal works.

    The remaining point is about Building regulations.

    Two separate issues:

    1. Do you think it is safe, no more likely to burn down or be very cold in winter than any other similar work can be proved to comply with the regulations? If you are worried then you may have to ask the seller to obtain a regularisation certificate - which he may resist because of the disruptive nature of the investigations. More likely you wouldn't go that far and will be happy if your surveyor is happy.

    2. The risk of enforcement by the Council (who as you know are being showered with money by the government and therefore can afford to take on staff to wander around their area knocking on doors on the off chance that they might find some work that does not comply with the Building Regulations!) The only real concern here is that if you want to do further work at the property and the Building Inspector comes round in connection with that, he might then require you to deal with the other points as well.

    Indemnity policies only pay out if there is enforcement action (very unlikely) and not if there is structural failure etc causing loss. They are mainly there to keep lenders happy who seem to have a touching faith in their efficacy.
    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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    • #3
      Re: Building regulations/planning approval

      So essentially, get the indemnity policy if required to by lender and then forget about it.

      Works for me. Many thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building regulations/planning approval

        So essentially, get the indemnity policy if required to by lender and then forget about it.

        Works for me. Many thanks.
        Yes, that is often the practical answer. You just need to remember that the point may well come up again when you come to sell and some buyers do worry about the possibility of structural failure etc....
        RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
        As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building regulations/planning approval

          Hi
          Am new member with a similar problem. Am buying a flat which is one of 55 in four 3 storey blocks. They were built in 2003/4 in modern style and seemingly of good quality. They were all sold as new build by the developer in 2004 and have resold since as and when they come up. Our solicitor has examined the original planning consent and found there was no completion certificate (?) on the council website. The council can't find one either. They say that their Land Contamination Unit (the development was on the site of an old hospital) have a record that the developer produced a report on the site and that they were happy for building to commence but that they wanted some remedial work done and a further report. We do not know whether the report/remedial works were completed but the council took no action (and I suspect probably won't).

          I am a cash buyer and so could take a risk and proceed. My concern is for potential resale. Are they likely to be problems with a purchaser/lender in the future? Is a solicitor likely to investigate a 10+ year old planning consent and if so is this likely to effect a purchaser needing a mortgage? I imagine banks etc have tightened up but this property is 10 years old and all the properties have sold at one time or another.

          Thanks

          Comment

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