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  • FIRST POST
    • bensaunders1973
    • By bensaunders1973 10th Sep 17, 9:08 PM
    • 3Posts
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    bensaunders1973
    Selling House, Lacking Building Regs
    • #1
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:08 PM
    Selling House, Lacking Building Regs 10th Sep 17 at 9:08 PM
    Hi,

    We are currently in the process of part exchanging our house for a new build. However, we have a lack of building regs on the removal of a wall between the main house (Kitchen) and an Orangery we had built.

    The Orangery was built 7 years ago and was completed under permitted development. It is very well insulated with insulation filled cavity walls, an insulated floor, celotex roof insulation and separate electric underfloor heating. As it fell into the conservatory category it did not need building regs or planning.

    We originally left the window and the doors in place as we wanted to make sure the room was warm enough as at a previous property we had an old style conservatory that was boiling in summer and freezing in winter.

    After 2 full years without any real temperature change in the room we decided to knock through. My father in Law is a FMB builder and took out the wall, window and door and installed an RSJ which was covered in pink plaster board to ensure it was done correctly. We left the bottom part of the wall in place and extended the kitchen worktop across it so as not to disturb the pipework or electrics. Unfortunately, as we thought we would stay here forever and he was doing us a favour, we did not get building regs! In hind sight, this was naieve.

    We are now in the process of part exchanging the property with a developer and we were very honest about what we have done. Their solicitor has initially asked for retrospective building regs, but this would involve quite a long delay and the uncovering of all of the work, both for the RSJ and for the Orangery. I think everything would be fine, but i'm not convinced the foundations would be deep enough. Luckily I have photos of EVERYTHING if needed.

    I have read that after 4 years the council could not enforce anything so my belief is that an indemnity policy would offer piece of mind along with a structural survey if they push to prove safety. We don't want to put a wall back in as it would change the open plan kitchen/diner and would involve a lot of work and as the developer put our property on the market and it sold in 2 days and they had 2 offers, i'm pretty sure the couple buying it would not want us to do that.

    I'm keen to get this resolved as we really want the new house, but I feel we are in a difficult spot with the developers.

    Any advice or guidance on this would be great?

    Many Thanks

    Ben
Page 1
    • Lizzieanne
    • By Lizzieanne 10th Sep 17, 9:50 PM
    • 477 Posts
    • 1,097 Thanks
    Lizzieanne
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:50 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:50 PM
    Hi Ben - we had a very similar problem when we sold our house last summer. We had the kitchen extended into the garage in 2004 but did not have building regs.
    We sold our house last July - when filling in the forms, we declared that we did not have the correct regs in place and the buyer's solicitors asked us if we would agree to buy an insurance indemnity policy. We agreed and it cost us around £150. The sale went through with no issues.
    Mortgage Free as of 03/07/2017
    • bensaunders1973
    • By bensaunders1973 10th Sep 17, 9:54 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    bensaunders1973
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:54 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:54 PM
    Thanks for the reply and yes, I am hoping that this will be the outcome in this situation. The council are not aware so an indemnity is the best route for us.

    I guess my concern is that as it's a developer buying the property from us and they will need to sell it on, would they accept this or will they push for retrospective building regs.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Sep 17, 10:23 PM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 5,536 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:23 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:23 PM
    Thanks for the reply and yes, I am hoping that this will be the outcome in this situation. The council are not aware so an indemnity is the best route for us.

    I guess my concern is that as it's a developer buying the property from us and they will need to sell it on, would they accept this or will they push for retrospective building regs.
    Originally posted by bensaunders1973
    If they've already got a buyer lined up then they'll probably accept whatever the ultimate buyer will accept.

    Aren't your solicitors giving you any advice in exchange for their fees?
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 10th Sep 17, 10:29 PM
    • 2,315 Posts
    • 1,163 Thanks
    the_r_sole
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:29 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:29 PM
    If they push for retrospective regs you're on a hiding to nothing, I know you are saying it's well built etc but it's a real mission to get something like an orangery which is designed to not have to comply with the thermal insulation regs, to comply as an extension.
    A builder, fmb or not is unlikely to know how to do this (although I guess some might, but I've never worked with one) but it would need to comply with current regs which is even more unlikely!
    Go for indemnity or a different buyer! My guess is they know exactly what the issue is and will use it to negotiate a lower price...
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Sep 17, 11:05 PM
    • 23,743 Posts
    • 66,088 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:05 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:05 PM
    The 4 year rule is for planning.

    Buidling regulations are a separate issue and there isn't a timescale. After 12 months they can't issue a simple notice, they need an injunction.

    Hopefully they pick it up as a non-compliant conservatory. If they pick it up as a non- compliant kitchen/conservatory then you're in trouble. It's unmortgageable, indemnity or no indemnity.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • bensaunders1973
    • By bensaunders1973 10th Sep 17, 11:38 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    bensaunders1973
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:38 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:38 PM
    Hi, just being a bit naive here, what is a non-compliant Kitchen/conservatory.

    I assumed The situation is that the conservatory is no longer exempt for Building Regs as the wall gas been removed?

    Cheers

    Ben
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 11th Sep 17, 12:06 AM
    • 23,743 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 17, 12:06 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 17, 12:06 AM
    That's right. It's being used as a habitable room but it's a conservatory. A kitchen needs to be in a properly habitable room to provide mortgage security, not a conservatory.

    Your conservatory is not as well built as you say if it has insufficient foundations. It's the first and arguably the most important thing to get right. You've created an 'extension' that is liable to structural movement.

    Maybe don't cut corners on your next purchase.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 11-09-2017 at 12:14 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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