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  • FIRST POST
    • emmamarie18
    • By emmamarie18 8th Jul 17, 9:02 AM
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    emmamarie18
    Lack of Buildings Regulations Certificate and Covenant Consent
    • #1
    • 8th Jul 17, 9:02 AM
    Lack of Buildings Regulations Certificate and Covenant Consent 8th Jul 17 at 9:02 AM
    We are first time buyers and are very close to completion.
    However, we have just found out from our solicitor that the sellers cannot provide a buildings regulation certificate and proof of covenant consent for two items in the property (new patio doors and installation of oil central heating). The patio door was done in 2014 and the heating system (although in good working condition) looks to be very old.

    We have been told by our solicitor that the sellers are willing to pay for indemnity insurance but if we volunteer the information to the council or invite them out to inspect future works and they ask for a certificate for the patio door or central heating, the policy becomes void.

    This wouldn't be a problem if we didn't want to extend the property in the future - we also wanted to ask the council if we could drop the kerb to create a parking area in our front garden - obviously we can't risk doing that in case the council 'poke around.' Plus, the property we are buying has planning permission for a large single storey extension - the council have been out several times to review different planning applications for the extension and each time did not notice the patio doors or heating so that is very promising.

    I spoke to the solicitor who said it would be very very rare for the council to ever find out because they just don't have the resources to 'poke around.'

    We have thought of an idea to remedy the situation - we need to get a new boiler at some point because its very old and we also want to get new windows and doors - my Dad has an idea to ask one of his builder friends to 'pretend' he put new patio doors in at the time of putting the windows in - the worst case scenario is we will have to rip out a perfectly good patio door and replace it with a new one - just so we can get a certificate!!! Once we have the new patio door and boiler, it won't be a risk to invite the council out to drop the kerb for us - is that correct?

    But then there is the separate issue of covenant consent that I am trying so hard to get my head around - I am worried that if we ask for covenant consent for a 'new' patio door and new boiler, they will ask about the current condition of both and I don't want to have to lie about something I don't really understand enough about!

    I understand that you have to get covenant consent from the original land owner - does anyone know if there are details of who to contact in the deeds? The solicitor is sending the deeds for us to sign next week. I just want to make sure we won't fall into any traps when we are trying to get covenant consent for existing items that we have to pretend are new!

    I had a chat with the solicitor yesterday who said it is very rare that we will get caught out and she did advise that most clients would simply just go ahead (!!) She also thinks that if we request the sellers to sort out the issues retrospectively or ask them to drop the price, they will pull out of the sale because there are many other people who would just go ahead with everything as it is - we are in such a difficult position because doing all this for the first time, we don't really understand the severity of it but really don't want to risk losing the house as we have waited so long for this!

    Sometimes I wonder if I am worrying about nothing from things I have read online but I just feel like we're 'in the dark' about it all and are forced to just go ahead because we don't want to lose the house.

    If anyone has any advice or has been through a similar experience, I would be so grateful for your help
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Jul 17, 9:15 AM
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    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 17, 9:15 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 17, 9:15 AM
    You're making it more complicated than you need to. I'm sure the indemnities are fine.

    I've been buying, selling and extensively extending, renovating and restoring houses for the best part of two decades now and no building inspector has ever highlighted an issue with previous work. On the scale of misdemeanours, a patio door and the central heating are very small. Most houses were built without any formal building regulations approval and so it's actually impossible for anyone to go back over everything. Building regs also change all the time, even a house built in 2015 will have a non-compliant electrical installation now by the fact that regs have changed on consumer units.

    What you must satisy yourself with is not the paperwork, but that they are safe.

    If you are having new windows etc then your new certificate will end up covering the doors by the fact that the description on these certificates is incredibly loose. 'New window installation' or suchlike.

    The certificate for the boiler will have been important at the time, but it is only a reflection of safety on the day it was installed. You need to be satisfied that it is safe now. Get it inspected; that advice would count even if there were an installation certificate.

    Don't worry too much. This is a molehill, not a mountain.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 8th Jul 17, 9:54 AM
    • 205 Posts
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    ProDave
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 17, 9:54 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 17, 9:54 AM
    Just accept the indemnity policy.

    Then after you have moved in, seek your plans to extend. I doubt the council will be bothered by a patio door that is probably being removed anyway in the process of extending.

    I am curious what covenant has been broken. That would worry me more as it must be really restrictive and might upset your extension plans. Are you really saying the covenant makes you seek permission to change a door and install heating? I am not sure I would want something o restrictive. Check what it really says, so you understand it and are sure you can live with it's restrictions.

    At a previous house we built a large extension with PP and building regs but I genuinely did not know it broke a "no building without permission" covenant but when we sold the house that was dealt with by us paying for an indemnity policy.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 8th Jul 17, 3:33 PM
    • 9,501 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:33 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:33 PM
    Councils (in their guise as Building Inspectors) do not "poke around".

    When the application is submitted they will only check that the proposed works conform to current Building Regs. They inspect works which are the subject of the current Building Regs application. They will satisfy themselves that these have been done correctly (and if not, will tell you why not) and move swiftly on to their next call.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Jul 17, 3:53 PM
    • 40,633 Posts
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:53 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:53 PM
    ....
    The certificate for the boiler will have been important at the time, but it is only a reflection of safety on the day it was installed. You need to be satisfied that it is safe now. Get it inspected; that advice would count even if there were an installation certificate.

    This is a molehill, not a mountain.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Doozergirl's advice is as always, sensible and practical.

    But to be clear - she does not mean 'get it inspected' by the council's Building Control dept. She means an OFTEC registered boiler engineer!

    Unless of course she had too much to drink last night and is still hung over.......
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 8th Jul 17, 3:54 PM
    • 1,385 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:54 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 17, 3:54 PM
    Councils (in their guise as Building Inspectors) do not "poke around".

    When the application is submitted they will only check that the proposed works conform to current Building Regs. They inspect works which are the subject of the current Building Regs application. They will satisfy themselves that these have been done correctly (and if not, will tell you why not) and move swiftly on to their next call.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    I think this makes sense.

    Why are the council building control going to care if you dont have building regs for a door and an oil system?

    They would be concerned about unsafe structures, but I doubt they would even take action if they found out you didnt have building regs for the aforementioned work.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Jul 17, 4:02 PM
    • 23,582 Posts
    • 65,756 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:02 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 17, 4:02 PM
    Doozergirl's advice is as always, sensible and practical.

    But to be clear - she does not mean 'get it inspected' by the council's Building Control dept. She means an OFTEC registered boiler engineer!

    Unless of course she had too much to drink last night and is still hung over.......
    Originally posted by G_M
    Exactly. Thanks for clarifying.

    Saving the hangover for tomorrow morning though! In fact, I think it might be time for a glass of fizz right now...
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • LHW99
    • By LHW99 8th Jul 17, 5:34 PM
    • 830 Posts
    • 656 Thanks
    LHW99
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 17, 5:34 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 17, 5:34 PM
    We found out that our first house had a bathroom / toilet that apparently hadn't had any permissions - it was an extension on a c.1850 house.
    We went ahead, it didn't cause us any issues, either living there, or when we came to sell - it would have been pretty impossible for the council to have wanted it removed, as it was the only possible place to have the bathroom, and if it went there wouldn't even have been an outside loo!
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