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  • FIRST POST
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 16th Mar 17, 8:44 PM
    • 24Posts
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    oneofnine
    Buying A house where Vendor says Extension done before they moved in
    • #1
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:44 PM
    Buying A house where Vendor says Extension done before they moved in 16th Mar 17 at 8:44 PM

    Sorry for the long title .The problem is this - there is an extension at the back of the house I am buying .We couldn't find planning permission for it ,and the vendors have said it was done before they bought it in 2002 .
    Does this mean it is safe for us to buy ? or should they have made sure before they moved in ?


    any answers would be helpful
    thanks .
Page 1
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 16th Mar 17, 8:52 PM
    • 4,467 Posts
    • 4,140 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #2
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:52 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:52 PM
    If the seller confirms that in a reply to a pre-contract enquiry, it's pretty much safe.

    The local planning authority can't take enforcement action.

    But your mortgage lender may still insist on indemnity insurance.
    • Mrs36
    • By Mrs36 16th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 203 Thanks
    Mrs36
    • #3
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
    Your local council may have a record of planning applications/buildings regs that you can search for via their website That should be your first port of call.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 16th Mar 17, 9:03 PM
    • 3,524 Posts
    • 3,103 Thanks
    Hoploz
    • #4
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:03 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:03 PM
    Depending when it was built and how big it is, there's every chance it didn't need planning permission. Don't worry about that. Just make sure it (like the rest of the house) seems structurally sound.

    Having a building control completion certificate helps with peace of mind, but anything built more than a few years ago will have had less stringent criteria to pass than nowadays anyway, so even this would only tell you it met the standards of the time.
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 16th Mar 17, 9:05 PM
    • 24 Posts
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    oneofnine
    • #5
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:05 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:05 PM
    Your local council may have a record of planning applications/buildings regs that you can search for via their website That should be your first port of call.
    Originally posted by Mrs36
    Yes , we've been on there but could find none .Our solicitor asked about it , and their reply was it was built before we moved in .

    Am just concerned that when we come to sell - will this cause a problem ?

    thanks for both of your replies .
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 16th Mar 17, 9:07 PM
    • 24 Posts
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    oneofnine
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:07 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:07 PM
    Depending when it was built and how big it is, there's every chance it didn't need planning permission. Don't worry about that. Just make sure it (like the rest of the house) seems structurally sound.

    Having a building control completion certificate helps with peace of mind, but anything built more than a few years ago will have had less stringent criteria to pass than nowadays anyway, so even this would only tell you it met the standards of the time.
    Originally posted by Hoploz
    It is a pretty big extension but so much time has passed since then,I wonder if it'll matter ?
    • Mrs36
    • By Mrs36 16th Mar 17, 9:09 PM
    • 125 Posts
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    Mrs36
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:09 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:09 PM
    Have you received your searches yet, maybe they would bring something up?
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 16th Mar 17, 9:11 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    oneofnine
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:11 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:11 PM
    It's a funny house really - it's not old or anything but it comes under this directive 4 or article 4 or something .They told us they had to put a boiler in and needed permission to do so .
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 16th Mar 17, 9:13 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    oneofnine
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:13 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 9:13 PM
    Have you received your searches yet, maybe they would bring something up?
    Originally posted by Mrs36
    Yes we've got the searches back but it doesn't tell us anything really.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 16th Mar 17, 10:38 PM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 2,867 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Do you mean article 4 directive? Is it in a conservation area? You have to get planning permission to change anything.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 16th Mar 17, 11:15 PM
    • 5,134 Posts
    • 4,774 Thanks
    davidmcn
    Our solicitor asked about it , and their reply was it was built before we moved in .

    Am just concerned that when we come to sell - will this cause a problem ?
    Originally posted by oneofnine
    Well, your solicitor should be advising you on this - it's what you're paying them for! - but these things become less problematic the more historic they are, so by the time you come to sell or remortgage it will be an even older alteration.

    Have you had a survey? If so, how old does the surveyor think the extension is?
    • martindow
    • By martindow 17th Mar 17, 10:48 AM
    • 6,965 Posts
    • 3,831 Thanks
    martindow
    If you think the lender may want indemnity insurance don't contact the council as that would invalidate it. The insurance is a complete waste of time but you have to jump through the lender's hoops.
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 19th Mar 17, 11:30 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    oneofnine
    Do you mean article 4 directive? Is it in a conservation area? You have to get planning permission to change anything.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Yes that's what it's called .No it's not in a conservation area and the house was built in 1956 .The couple have lived there since 2002 .I agree ,I think our sol should get more info .It's got UVPC windows so it's not like it has to stay in character or anything .

    We don't need a mortgage lender thankfully but as soon as the solicitor gets back to me I'll post.
    Thanks all .
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 19th Mar 17, 11:43 AM
    • 21,280 Posts
    • 12,218 Thanks
    xylophone
    this directive 4 or article 4 or something .
    Do you mean this?

    https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/hpg/historic-environment/article4directions/
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 20th Mar 17, 1:07 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    oneofnine
    Thank you - yes .I still don't get why permission for a boiler is required if they can't find planning permission for the extension ?

    I think maybe there's birds or it's an environmental thing for the area ?
    We are going back to view the house soon'ish so I'll ask the owners too as well as our solicitor.
    Thanks for that.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 20th Mar 17, 10:58 AM
    • 4,186 Posts
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    Slinky
    Are you sure it's not in a conservation area? We looked at a house where the conservation area was extended in 2014 and work done now to the front requires planning permission under article 4 which previously it wouldn't have done. This could be why 'your' extension was permissable before 2002, but the boiler needed permission at a later date.
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 20th Mar 17, 11:42 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    oneofnine
    Are you sure it's not in a conservation area? We looked at a house where the conservation area was extended in 2014 and work done now to the front requires planning permission under article 4 which previously it wouldn't have done. This could be why 'your' extension was permissable before 2002, but the boiler needed permission at a later date.
    Originally posted by Slinky
    Hmm , you may be right .I have e mailed my solicitor today and she is supposed to be calling me back.Will let you know,
    cheers.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 20th Mar 17, 12:05 PM
    • 4,186 Posts
    • 17,028 Thanks
    Slinky
    Google is your friend here. Type in conservation zone whatever town and see if you can find anything. This is how I found the one we were interested in now fell into the CZ. The vendor had work done on his property in 2014 and we weren't convinced it didn't need permission as they were vague about when it had been started/completed. Certainly what they've done would require permission now.
    • oneofnine
    • By oneofnine 21st Mar 17, 8:50 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    oneofnine
    Thanks Slinky .I have had my mind put at rest by my solicitor .
    The area is very close to a town centre which the powers that be want to retain as is .

    The planning permission she thinks was unlikely to have been needed at that time , and as time has progressed she doubts very much that there would be any comeback since the couple have lived there since 2002 ,and it was built before them .


    Thanks for all your opinions and help all.

    • Richard Webster
    • By Richard Webster 21st Mar 17, 11:57 AM
    • 7,382 Posts
    • 7,092 Thanks
    Richard Webster
    Please be clear that Planning isn't the issue here because the work was done in 2002 and will now be immune from Planning Enforcement.

    It is the Building Regulations that have to be complied with. When the sellers bought their solicitors should have asked for evidence of compliance with the building regulations. A completion certificate should show on the search. If not then, OP's survey (you are having one - not just lender valuation, aren't you?) should give some idea whether it looks as though everything is in order.

    You can decide to take a risk on the basis that if it has been up 15 years it's probably OK, but understand there is still a risk here. Lender may want a building regulation indemnity policy which it thinks is some help - but isn't really because it only protects against the Council taking action, which really they are very unlikely to do now. Too much of a wind-up for them with calls on staff time and expenditure cuts....
    RICHARD WEBSTER

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
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