/ House purchase & building regs

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pasbury on 04 Jul 2013
Just to add to the slew of house buying threads here recently!

I'm buying a house that was extended twice in the 90's, one was a little lean-to utility room and the other was an extra bedroom (house is a bungalow). I want to be sure that 1) planning permission was properly obtained if it was required and 2) that the stuff was built according to building regs that applied at the time. Documentation from the seller has not been forthcoming - the extensions were completed before their purchase of the place.
Is it easy to search for planning permission cases from the mid 90's? Do the building regs matter e.g. if it was self certified who the hell will ever know? Is it wise to ask for some kind of indemnity - we've had to provide it on the sale of our house because of some new double glazing/external doors on our place that weren't FENSA certified?
highclimber - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to pasbury: There are time limitations to things like not having permission, can't remember how long it is though. your conveyancer should be sorting this out.

I'd definately be asking for an indemnity policy to cover any repercussions re building certs etc
Neil Williams - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Such policies are cheap, reflecting the likelihood of a claim (i.e. very low unless you know of a problem neighbour who is likely to make a fuss). So you might as well I guess.

Neil
pasbury on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

yes I wondered if they were a 'one size fits all' type policy - ours was only 60 quid but if that covers all such eventualities then it's not unreasonable to expect the seller to provide it.
pasbury on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Thanks - that will help with my phone call to the solicitors tomorrow :-)
Alan M - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to pasbury:

Planning permission is easy to find out phone the council it is public information.

Building control not as easy as you do not have to use a council building control surveyor to sign the work off. You can employ an independent surveyor as long as they have the necessary qualifications though they should provide a certificate etc.

I sold a house a few months ago the previous owner had done work and used an independent surveyor. When I sold the house a few months ago the buyers solicitor decided that they wanted me to pay for an Indemnity Insurance which cost me about 80.

andymac - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to pasbury:

As Alan M says ; public information.

If you could find out if their was an architect involved in the 90`s you might be able track him/her/them down

plans should have a warrant stamp and ref no. on them

Surely the council would have a record of a Completion certificate being granted.
highclimber - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to andymac: This is what you pay a lot of money to a solicitor for.
andymac - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to andymac) This is what you pay a lot of money to a solicitor for.

Aye and costs can quickly add up.

andymac - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to pasbury:

If there is no certification ,I would have concerns how easily you would perhaps sell this house in a few years time ,or further down the line.
Trangia - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to pasbury:

This is not an uncommon situation. Put the onus onto the vendor to produce the documentation. Insist that they or their solicitor, do the retrospective research at THEIR expense. They are trying to sell and it's up to them to do this, as others have said if it's not sorted then you'll be faced with the problem when you come to sell.
victorclimber - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to pasbury: you have to get the vendor to get the proof of the build not yourself..
Richard Wilson - on 05 Jul 2013
Forget the planning permission its well past the time limit for enforcement.

ex0 - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to victorclimber:

To clarify, your solicitors will ask the seller's solicitors to get the relevant planning permission & building regulations information from the seller.

If the seller's sols can't provide the paperwork for the extension they should advise their client that they will have to pay out for an indemnity policy and that they as the seller should cover the cost of that policy. If they come back with anything else your solicitor should suggest that they do the above.

It's quite rare that the buyer pays for the cost of policies to cover the seller.
Neil Williams - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to ex0:

They aren't to cover the seller. They're to cover the buyer, because they become liable for modifying the property to comply if it doesn't and it's caught.

But you are correct in that they're normally paid for by the seller.

Neil
ex0 - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

Good catch, my bad :D End of a long week!
Neil Williams - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to ex0:

Fair enough :)

It is to their benefit to pay, anyway, because why would you potentially give up the sale or delay it for a relatively small sum?

Neil

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