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buying a house with a loft conversion without building regs can i get insured?
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# 1
carlycav
Old 07-01-2010, 12:09 PM
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Default buying a house with a loft conversion without building regs can i get insured?

We are purchasing a house with a loft conversion that hasn't been done to building regs, the current owner has it as a bedroom and we would too. we have to get buildings insurance when we get a mortgage will they insure it?
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# 2
Badger_Lady
Old 07-01-2010, 12:11 PM
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Presumably the current owner has got insurance..? Can you ask them who they're insured with? And I also assume you're paying less for the unofficial bedroom
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# 3
poppysarah
Old 07-01-2010, 12:54 PM
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Is it actually safe to use as a bedroom. Regardless of building regs, is it easy to get out of when your house is on fire?

Whether you care about the rules or not, you'd probably care about being trapped up there.
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# 4
Welsh Totster
Old 07-01-2010, 1:16 PM
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We have two attic rooms which the previous owners did about 15+ years ago, it doesnt comply with building regs and never has and we use one room as a study and one for storage. each room has a velux window that in todays standard ares big enough for a fireman to get through hence why the rooms can't be marketed as Habitable. When it was on the market, they were marketed as 'storage'. We have never had a problem insuring the house over the past 8+ years, you shouldn't have a problem. good luck
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# 5
carlycav
Old 07-01-2010, 1:44 PM
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Thanks for the info.

The room is easy to get out of via the stairs onto the landing. Also the velux window is big enough to climb out of.

Not sure what is classed as a safe bedroom?, the current owners have a double bed in there and are storing lots of stuff in there. They say the building regs would mean the velux window would have to be moved elswhere to comply (eg further down almost on the actual front of the property, top of the front wall where all the other windows are) but i suppose we cant really trust what they are saying as they just want to sell the house.

The house is marketed as a two bedroom with loft conversion so the price coincides with a two bedroomed property.

Would i have to tell the buildings insurance about the loft conversion or is it a standard question they will ask.

All i am bothered about is further down the line if we do need to claim for anything and they say well you have a loft conversion not to regs, so its all void.
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# 6
Welsh Totster
Old 07-01-2010, 2:16 PM
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We have never been asked, as it wasn't sold to us as a 6 bed property it was sold as a 4 bed with 2 attic storage rooms (and thats how we have sold it) To be honest I wouldnt worry, we have only ever been asked how many bedrooms it was and we have always said 4, and I suspect you'll say 2.

The house we are about to move to has the master bed and ensuite in the converted loft and it does comply with all building regs needed, we still havent been asked by the insurance company if it complies with regs even though I said its a 4 bed house with master in attic conversion.
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# 7
carlycav
Old 07-01-2010, 2:30 PM
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Great that makes me feel a lot better, like you said if we sell its still a two bed house at the end of the day.

Thanks for all your help on this subject.
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# 8
Welsh Totster
Old 07-01-2010, 2:36 PM
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Tis ok, glad to be of service!
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# 9
lilian1977
Old 07-01-2010, 3:02 PM
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We have just bought a 2 bed with loft conversion, the survey said the staircase wasn't to regs - we just said it was 2 bed for insurance purposes. I will be getting the window changed before using it as a bedroom.
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# 10
Hippychick
Old 07-01-2010, 3:12 PM
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We have a property with a loft conversio too, I insured with the same company as my mortgage lender and mentioned the loft conversion at the point of quotation. They were fine with it.
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# 11
Fire Fox
Old 07-01-2010, 3:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlycav View Post
Thanks for the info.

The room is easy to get out of via the stairs onto the landing. Also the velux window is big enough to climb out of.

Not sure what is classed as a safe bedroom?, the current owners have a double bed in there and are storing lots of stuff in there. They say the building regs would mean the velux window would have to be moved elswhere to comply (eg further down almost on the actual front of the property, top of the front wall where all the other windows are) but i suppose we cant really trust what they are saying as they just want to sell the house.

The house is marketed as a two bedroom with loft conversion so the price coincides with a two bedroomed property.

Would i have to tell the buildings insurance about the loft conversion or is it a standard question they will ask.

All i am bothered about is further down the line if we do need to claim for anything and they say well you have a loft conversion not to regs, so its all void.
There is a lot more to building regs than simply the presence of a Velux! Do you have a fire door at the top or bottom of the stairs onto the landing? Are the Velux windows in the correct position (not simply size) for access by the fire services 'cherry picker'? Have the ceiling joists been properly reinforced to allow furniture to be safely placed in the room? Were the roof trusses properly reinforced to ensure the roof doesn't start sagging at a later date?
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# 12
poppysarah
Old 07-01-2010, 4:03 PM
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windows aren't so important these days as the route in from the ground. Fire doors and fire closers I think on all other doors in the place (something a lot of builders might tell you to just take off after building regs is done, but are there for a reason and not just to annoy) And extra smoke detector thing too so you know quickly if there's a problem elsewhere.
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# 13
chappers
Old 07-01-2010, 4:04 PM
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also getting insurance and claiming on it are two different things, I'm sure if you told your insurance company you had a loft conversion without building regs they may take a different view. Non disclosure is the biggest single reason for insurers not paying up.
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# 14
daska
Old 07-01-2010, 4:08 PM
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when we were looking at a house that had been converted incorrectly the solicitor advised that we could get insurance against there being a problem with the work not complying with building regs etc.
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# 15
missb123
Old 07-01-2010, 5:56 PM
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Hi all, we have bought a house, 3 bed with loft conversion, our solicitor wanted the building warrant before we could complete.
At present the seller is having to do remedial works to the conversion for it to pass regs, we were told not to complete on the house till it gets signed off by the council.
Its taking ages!!! god knows when we will get to move in!!
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# 16
carlycav
Old 07-01-2010, 9:18 PM
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A few different views there, i think we will be asking the vendors more questions before we complete. Initially the room will be used mostly for storage with a bed in the room. We are prepared to get it up to regs if we need to in the future.

Thanks for all the info.
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# 17
iamana1ias
Old 07-01-2010, 9:27 PM
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A poorly done conversion can cost you tens of thousands further down the line
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# 18
sparkykink
Old 09-03-2010, 9:04 PM
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Generally, I understand the seller of the house takes out an indemnity policy in this situation if building regs haven't been followed.
I have just bought a property with a window that wasn't fitted by a FENSA registered company, and an indemnity policy had to be taken out (otherwise no mortgage offer).
Beware insurance companies that will sell policies but not pay up when things go belly up.
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# 19
timmyt
Old 09-03-2010, 9:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkykink View Post
Generally, I understand the seller of the house takes out an indemnity policy in this situation if building regs haven't been followed.
I have just bought a property with a window that wasn't fitted by a FENSA registered company, and an indemnity policy had to be taken out (otherwise no mortgage offer).
Beware insurance companies that will sell policies but not pay up when things go belly up.

yes, none of these policies to my knowledge hav been claimed on.

FENSA insurance is a nonsense. If over 1 year building control cannot take action, and I personally do not suggest a delay for insurance for windows!
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# 20
Richard Webster
Old 10-03-2010, 9:28 AM
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You do have to be concerned about safety and you do have think about the questions that will be asked when you come to sell, but you also have to get it all in context.

What do people say about 100 year old houses that have probably always had an attic bedroom with steep windy stairs accessing it that would not comply with modern regulations if built now? Nobody seems to bat an eyelid at that sort of thing - yet there is some logic in lenders saying they are concerned about safety and therefore they will not value any such property as a 3 bed if one of the bedrooms is in the attic. They don't, of course, but it does seem unfair that someone who has done a modern loft conversion that 90% complies with the regulations, and is probably safer than a Victorian loft bedroom, should be penalised.
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