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Buyer has requested Planning permission & building regs for work that's decades old

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  • Buyer has requested Planning permission & building regs for work that's decades old

    I was hoping someone might be able to give me a few pointers. I am selling a stone terrace house built in 1883. It was originally 2 four storey back-to-backs which were converted into one house long before I bought it. The conversion involved creating a normal door sized opening between the landings on each of the lower three floors (don't know if there are any RSJ's). When I bought the house approx 3yrs ago I had a home-buyers survey done and no issues were raised regarding the conversion. I am mid-sale and the buyers solicitor has asked for the necessary planning permission and building regulation for the conversion. Of course I now know I too should have asked for this at the time of purchase but I was very naive and the issue was never raised. I do not know when it was done but I think it was in the 1950's/1960's but cannot confirm this. I'm not sure how to check if permissions where granted and don't want to shoot myself in the foot by calling the council before I know where I stand. Do you think I should offer indemnity insurance?
    Many thanks, Em

  • #2
    Re: Buyer has requested Planning permission & building regs for work that's decades o

    If the work was done that long ago Planning is a non-issue as it have become immune from enforcement.

    Buyer's solicitors ask this sort of question as routine as whilst they suspect that you haven't got the right paperwork (if you had your solicitors would have sent it with the draft contract) they have be told so they have it all in writing to explain to their clients the small levels of risk factor.

    You may have to provide a Building Regulation Indemnity Policy to keep the buyer's mortgage lender happy. These policies aren't very expensive but are not available if you have contacted the Council about the matter.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.


    • #3
      Re: Buyer has requested Planning permission & building regs for work that's decades o

      Hi, I have the same kind of problem. I bought my property in 1999 with a loft convertion. The property was marketed and bought as a 3 bed (including the convertion). However I am now in the middle of selling the house and the buyers want the building reg certificates. I do not recall seeing these but surely my solicitor (when I bought the property) would have gathered this information as a routine check? I know about indemnity insurances etc but I am going out of my mind with worry that the sale will fall through. If my original solicitor didn't get this information what happens then? Is the solicitor liable? In addition, there is nothing on my title deeds to show building regulations were carried out and also I don't know when the convertion was done (could have been done 14/15 years ago). Hope someone can help
      Many thanks