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  • FIRST POST
    • Jaglad111
    • By Jaglad111 11th Oct 17, 10:39 PM
    • 114Posts
    • 176Thanks
    Jaglad111
    Anybody to blame or just one of those things?
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:39 PM
    Anybody to blame or just one of those things? 11th Oct 17 at 10:39 PM
    Hi all

    FTB's here, about to exchange on our forever home. The final query came back today and it now looks liable to collapse the chain!

    The house is 4 bed detached, advertised as living room, playroom and dining room on the ground floor.
    The valuation picked up that the playroom was a converted garage so obviously our solicitor enquired about building regs and permissions from the freeholder. After weeks of fobbing off and everything else back I get an email saying no building reg certification was carried out and the freeholder was unaware of change of use.

    The current vendor bought in 2011 under the same circumstances as the work was completed in 2002. They applied for regs in 2012 but cancelled the day of the inspection for reasons only known to them. The email also states the vendor is not preparred to have it checked by an inspector.

    About an hour prior to this the EA's rang mumbling on about just take an indemity or the chain will collapse. He was obviously aware of the problem before me!

    Now nearly £3k spent (broker fee's, valuation, solicitors) and it looks like it will collapse the sale. Is this the kind of thing EA's should know or the vendor should declare? Surely it shouldn't get this far with such a major problem? Advice greatly appreciated.
Page 2
    • Ronaldo Mconaldo
    • By Ronaldo Mconaldo 12th Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 4,951 Posts
    • 5,108 Thanks
    Ronaldo Mconaldo
    I think we had the same kind of problem when we moved into our house 6 weeks ago: a few certificates couldn't be found so the sellers paid for a massive payout insurance policy thing and we said "fine". Don't be a child, just get on with it.
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 12th Oct 17, 9:27 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    kirtondm
    The key problem for me would be the lack of freeholder consent - I am guessing that is why the solicitor is urging caution

    Make Freeholders consent a condition of proceeding - They should have declared this earlier
    • Ronaldo Mconaldo
    • By Ronaldo Mconaldo 12th Oct 17, 9:34 AM
    • 4,951 Posts
    • 5,108 Thanks
    Ronaldo Mconaldo
    Insurance will cover that too
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Oct 17, 9:50 AM
    • 41,412 Posts
    • 47,748 Thanks
    G_M
    Yes - why are you buying a 4 bed leasehold house?

    Cut your losses and find a freehold property you like.
    • SG27
    • By SG27 12th Oct 17, 12:44 PM
    • 1,913 Posts
    • 1,194 Thanks
    SG27
    The freehold /leasehold issue aside. I would not be at all botherd by a 15 year garage conversion with no building regs. Those regs would be totaly obsolete now anyway. I personally wouldnt bother with insurance either. Unless you get the vendor to pay?
    Mortgage Debt: £93,537.48/£105,025 Feb 13
    Overpayments so far: £3,939.72
    • chappers
    • By chappers 12th Oct 17, 3:41 PM
    • 2,650 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    chappers
    Insurance will cover that too
    Originally posted by Ronaldo Mconaldo
    But you could still lose your room if the freeholder insists, you will be recompensed financially but that's it.
    The freeholder doesn't have a timeframe for enforcement, like the planners and building control
    • cloo
    • By cloo 12th Oct 17, 4:15 PM
    • 900 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    cloo
    I'd just get indemnity to CYA, and get on with it. Providing your lease is over 90 years... less than that might be a worry.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 12th Oct 17, 4:22 PM
    • 439 Posts
    • 653 Thanks
    BBH123
    Leasehold house = run for the hills.

    If this falls through because of the garage consider you've had a lucky escape.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 12th Oct 17, 4:52 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 387 Thanks
    ProDave
    I hadn't spotted the leasehold bit.

    Why anybody would buy a leasehold house beats me. Walk away, find a freehold house instead.
    • gax23
    • By gax23 12th Oct 17, 10:24 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    gax23
    Got to agree with what’s already been said. I used to do a lot of work for a solicitor who specialised in leaseholds and I wouldn’t touch a leasehold house with a bargepole.
    • davemorton
    • By davemorton 13th Oct 17, 12:08 AM
    • 26,219 Posts
    • 305,069 Thanks
    davemorton
    Again, why is everyone against a leasehold? Many homes are leasehold but they are not the the sort you see in the headlines all the time. 999 year lease (-years since the house was built, so -48 for the house I am sitting in) and a lease of about £3 a year.
    The lease could be bought for a few hundred/grand, but not worth it.
    Im a board guide on Pie Making Moneysaving. I'm a volunteer to help the pie production & consumption run smoothly. I can help merge tastes and fillings. Any pies made are mine & are not those of other Moneysavingexperts. Im a board guide not a qualified baker and as such do not make every type of pie. If you spot a quiche or flan please report it.
    • Jaglad111
    • By Jaglad111 13th Oct 17, 4:49 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    Jaglad111
    Thanks everybody. The lease is 977 years at £60 p.a so I have no issue with that at all. Plan there is to wait 2 years and then buy it.

    As an update, the vendor is having building control around today for an inspection. I'm not looking for it to be up to current regs but will be happy if the work was completed to a reasonable standard. Any remedial works can be done by us if not excessively severe.

    We are still waiting on the freeholders permissions and I am prepared to pay a reasonable sum to get these if requested.
    • Coconut01
    • By Coconut01 13th Oct 17, 7:51 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Coconut01
    So the freeholder is being difficult and it may cost you to gain permission, what makes you think you'll be able to buy the freehold at a reasonable price in a couple of years?

    Also is the lease likely to increase over the next 5-10 years?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Oct 17, 8:05 AM
    • 5,914 Posts
    • 5,668 Thanks
    davidmcn
    Again, why is everyone against a leasehold?
    Originally posted by davemorton
    Because even in the case of not particularly onerous leases, you may still be required to cross the freeholder's palm with silver every time you sell or make alterations which (objectively speaking) don't affect their interest in the property. Luckily we don't have any of this nonsense in Scotland.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 13th Oct 17, 8:22 AM
    • 2,650 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    chappers
    As an update, the vendor is having building control around today for an inspection. I'm not looking for it to be up to current regs but will be happy if the work was completed to a reasonable standard. Any remedial works can be done by us if not excessively severe.

    .
    Originally posted by Jaglad111
    The inspector won't be interested in that, just whether it passes regs or not.

    My concerns centre around 4 areas. The first being the correct insulation having been installed. The second regarding the floor and how it was raised. Thirdly the footings where the door was originally are to the correct depth (I believe 1 meter?) And finally the correct installation of the gas/electrics.
    Nor will he be able to assess these concerns just from a visual inspection, is the vendor willing to start ripping the fabric of the building apart. Gas and electrics could be addressed to some degree with Gas safety test and periodic electrical inspection and testing.
    With regards to sign off you might get lucky and he might just say sod it, the works are so historic and say it's OK, though I am surprised they even agreed to inspect after so long as the works are well outside the period for enforcement


    All the above can be overcome through an independent inspection should the vendor be prepared to cover the cost.

    The final issue is the landlord/freeholder deciding they will grant permission.
    This is your more serious issue and one which will probably take some time to resolve.
    If having the room is the most important thing and this can't be sorted than walk away.
    If the actual room isn't ultimately essential and it's the cost of enforcement that bothers you then consider indemnity, but seeing as the freeholder is now aware that might not even be an option

    If you go down the route of seeking permission, what will you do if they refuse as the likelihood is that they will then seek to enforce that decision.
    One thing in your favour though is the length of the lease, by granting a 999 year lease it is clear that the freeholder has very little material interest in the property.

    The freeholder issue is a complete minefield and that is why your solicitor has advised you to walk. It's not something like BC or planning enforcement that has time limits for enforcement
    It might not be an issue, and they just rubber stamp it, but are you willing to take that chance. If it all goes tits up the £3k you have spent out so far could end up looking like chicken feed.
    Be glad your solicitor has done his job properly.
    Both the vendors and the agents quite clearly knew this was an issue.
    Last edited by chappers; 13-10-2017 at 8:44 AM.
    • elliemet23
    • By elliemet23 13th Oct 17, 8:44 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elliemet23
    We've just bought a house that didn't have building regs for a re-layout of the downstairs... The solicitors asked us to pay £29.50 for some kind of indemnity and it was all sorted... Not sure why they're making out its a massive issue!

    Good luck!
    xxx
    • Jaglad111
    • By Jaglad111 13th Oct 17, 11:59 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    Jaglad111
    Building control have signed off on the works so very pleased about that!

    Now time for the freeholder. The majority of houses on the site have already bought out their leases so I'm wondering if I can kill two birds with one stone. I am going to see if they would be prepared to sell me the freehold.

    I believe the other freeholds on the estate were bought for 2-3k so although it would dent our renovations budget it wouldn't excessively hurt us.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 13th Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • 2,650 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    chappers
    We've just bought a house that didn't have building regs for a re-layout of the downstairs... The solicitors asked us to pay £29.50 for some kind of indemnity and it was all sorted... Not sure why they're making out its a massive issue!

    Good luck!
    xxx
    Originally posted by elliemet23
    Because if you have read the whole thread there is more than a BC issue at play here.
    A freeholder failing to give permission and then enforcing that could be a big issue.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 13th Oct 17, 12:23 PM
    • 2,650 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    chappers
    Building control have signed off on the works so very pleased about that!

    Now time for the freeholder. The majority of houses on the site have already bought out their leases so I'm wondering if I can kill two birds with one stone. I am going to see if they would be prepared to sell me the freehold.

    I believe the other freeholds on the estate were bought for 2-3k so although it would dent our renovations budget it wouldn't excessively hurt us.
    Originally posted by Jaglad111
    Good news on the BC front.

    I reckon buying the lease would be your best bet, particularly if you want to sell again.
    Equally it appears that the freeholders don't have much interest in the freehold so unlikely to take any enforcement.
    Sometime developers like to keep control of what new homeowners do for a while, for example if building a whole estate of houses, so they can control development whilst still building/selling the rest of the houses,
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 13th Oct 17, 12:46 PM
    • 15,242 Posts
    • 13,579 Thanks
    AdrianC
    An indemnity policy just covers the cost of defending any enforcement action that may arise. Building control can't do anything after 15 years, so it's worthless there. Freeholder? Well, it's possible, but vanishingly unlikely.

    The question is whether it was converted properly. Built-in garage on a house that was less than a decade old at the time? It's really only going to be a question of insulation standards, and maybe fire breaks. A BC visit now can't look at anything behind the plaster and cosmetics, so fairly pointless - and if it's the local authority's BC guy, then there goes the indemnity anyway.

    If you like the house, I really wouldn't let this make ANY difference at all. As for the solicitor saying "It'll be unsellable" - well, it's already been sold once without the paperwork, and may well now sell again... So that kinda proves him wrong on that... The longer goes by, the less relevant the paperwork is.
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