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Mutley

Original Poster:

2,569 posts

144 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Trying to complete a move, spoke with solicitor this morning who mentioned that he's requesting an update to an indemnity policy on the extension to the house. Apparently, the Council never approved the final build, so could demand it removed, so the insurance policy to cover the loss to house property.

How long can a structure be up before the council lose any right to demand it being torn down?
However, surely knowing this you'd approach the council to get the final sign off, but who would've been responsible in the first place to get this done? The builder? the homeowner? Local Planning Officer paying a visit to check the work?

Do I risk approaching the council to get the certificates?

Busamav

2,954 posts

93 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
This will be the Building regs approval.

I would make a call to the Building Inspector and see what / if any items, are outstanding on his list .

It may just require a final inspection and a piece of paperwork to sort it, assuming the job has been inspected at the required stages .

SJobson

8,643 posts

149 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Insurance is not a proper protection against lack of consents; if you are required to take down the extension (however unlikely) the insurance will not put it back but simply pay out the difference in value. That means you're left with a house which isn't as you wanted.

Mutley

Original Poster:

2,569 posts

144 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
SJobson said:
Insurance is not a proper protection against lack of consents; if you are required to take down the extension (however unlikely) the insurance will not put it back but simply pay out the difference in value. That means you're left with a house which isn't as you wanted.
Exactly my issue. While the indemnity will cover for the loss of value to the property, the extension was to me a large selling point. So do i risk speaking to the council and chance all is ok? I'm not a builder, and things looked ok to me. Or have a chat with the plannings folk and get them to check it so I can, if needed, remedy any problems.

andye30m3

2,767 posts

139 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
What has not been signed off?

Planning permission or Building regulations approval?


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mk1fan

4,640 posts

110 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Mutley said:
How long can a structure be up before the council lose any right to demand it being torn down?
If only you had a legal advisor to tell you??

There are two possible risks here as asked above. Is this a Planning or Building Control issue?

At this time it's down to the current owner to ressolve things. If the extension is the reason for buying the place and the current owner isn't going to ressolve the outstanding issues, then walk away.

If it's Buidling Control issues then the only reason for not getting then ressolved is because the works don't comply.

Edited by mk1fan on Tuesday 10th August 18:39

Paul Dishman

2,348 posts

122 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Mutley said:
Trying to complete a move, spoke with solicitor this morning who mentioned that he's requesting an update to an indemnity policy on the extension to the house. Apparently, the Council never approved the final build, so could demand it removed, so the insurance policy to cover the loss to house property.

How long can a structure be up before the council lose any right to demand it being torn down?
However, surely knowing this you'd approach the council to get the final sign off, but who would've been responsible in the first place to get this done? The builder? the homeowner? Local Planning Officer paying a visit to check the work?

Do I risk approaching the council to get the certificates?
We were in exactly the same position as you describe when we came to sell our old house in 2008, apperently the extension we'd had built twenty years previously hadn't been signed off. Fortunately the builder, now retired, lives around the corner and he got the right person in the planning dept to come out and sign it all off. Didn't cost us anything as far as I recall.

prand

3,285 posts

81 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
How old is the work? If its after several years (only the 1 for ours) the council will not pursue non-signed off building regs, so you shouldn't really need to worry. The indemnity is not too useful for you either, as if you make enquiries with the council before purchasing the insurance becomes void before you even purchase it.

The problem we are finding are that now we want to make impriovements to the existing extension, buildign regs want all the previous requirements sorted before they will sign off new work, including digging test holes for foundations, fitting doors that weren't there and so on...

Redmax

631 posts

98 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Edited: sorry, duplicating the point in the post above.

Edited by Redmax on Tuesday 10th August 15:11

duncancallum

774 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
It may not need permission or Regs I have just had the same issue. Do any other properties the same type have the same extension as the builder if doing a few the same only needed to apply for one property a bit like type approval.

monthefish

17,826 posts

116 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
andye30m3 said:
What has not been signed off?

Planning permission or Building regulations approval?
Need to know this.

There is also something that can be obtained from the council called a 'letter of comfort', which building control will issue under some circumstances that basically states that they are not signing off the building warrant (for whatever reason - too much time elapsed (as prand says), insufficent inspecitions at various stages etc), but they are happy with the situation and are not going to take any enforcement action.

Ideally, as the buyer, you should push for getting full sign-off, but if it's not possible, then a letter of comfort may be a reasonable 'plan B'.

Mutley

Original Poster:

2,569 posts

144 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Thanks all, just spoken again with the people and it's the Building Regulation Certificate that isn't to hand.

This is odd, as just looking through the paperwork I have to hand, there is a certificate signed by the council for the toilet put in there, and a copy of the planning agreement. So if the plumbing etc has been signed off, why not the rest? Looking like a possible oversight.

Busamav

2,954 posts

93 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Mutley said:
Thanks all, just spoken again with the people and it's the Building Regulation Certificate that isn't to hand.

This is odd, as just looking through the paperwork I have to hand, there is a certificate signed by the council for the toilet put in there, and a copy of the planning agreement. So if the plumbing etc has been signed off, why not the rest? Looking like a possible oversight.
These may be just the approvals,
but on completion of a project you should have a completion certificate .

It is quite common for these to be overlooked , untill of course the owner wants to sell the property.

Just take a moment of your time to call the building inmspector and explain the situation , his file will have all the info to date .

B17NNS

12,622 posts

132 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
Busamav said:
This will be the Building regs approval .
what he said

darronwall

1,462 posts

81 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th August 2010 quote quote all
just buy the indemnity it will be quicker and a lot less hassle

Mr GrimNasty

3,919 posts

55 months

[news] 
Wednesday 11th August 2010 quote quote all
Trouble is given that there may have been some notification/partial approval - most indemnities have exclusion clauses for such situations.

If the building work was finished more than 12 months ago and there are no serious defects (safety/quality of life issues), chance of enforcement action is effectively 0% anyway.

It just causes a glitch/concern every time the house is sold - that is the only problem!

Retrospective approval is a possibility (and probably preferable).

Globulator

13,131 posts

116 months

[news] 
Wednesday 11th August 2010 quote quote all
Mr GrimNasty said:
Retrospective approval is a possibility (and probably preferable).
Yes - the solution is simple, call the building control guys. Unlike the anal planning department these guys are realistic and generally building enthusiasts so you need to explain the situation and get one of them out to inspect the house and either a) sign it off or b) tell you what needs to be remedied.

In general they will come out next day.

Anything else is a waste of time IMO.
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