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    • mallen
    • By mallen 5th Feb 18, 3:45 PM
    • 41Posts
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    mallen
    No building regs loft conversion or chinmey remova
    • #1
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:45 PM
    No building regs loft conversion or chinmey remova 5th Feb 18 at 3:45 PM
    I am a FTB and I have just received the property details and fixtures and fittings of a house I have had an offer accepted for. The property was built in the 1960's and over that time has had a couple of bits of work done.

    1. A dormer attic conversion - There is a staircase in the small 3rd bedroom leading to a 4th attic room.

    2. Chimney stack removed and fireplace in front room bricked up and plastered over.

    Although everything looks fine, clean and tidy. I am concerned as the current seller is saying this work was done by the previous owner before the one he bought it off. I have requested more information such as when was the work done, who did it and where are the building regs..

    I really like this house and just after some advice on what to do?

    Thanks
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 5th Feb 18, 3:50 PM
    • 6,820 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:50 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:50 PM
    So how long ago (roughly) were the works done? The more historic they are, the less likely it is that anyone will take enforcement action for the lack of paperwork, or that any deficiencies in the structure etc will suddenly become apparent.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 5th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    • 24,468 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    Removing the chimney stack (the bit outside) is not notifiable, I do not think, nor is blocking off the fire. It should have a vent somewhere though as that can get damp if they are purely just blocked up.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    • 43,214 Posts
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    G_M
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    this work was done by the previous owner before the one he bought it off.
    so 3 owners ago (4 ifyou buy it)?

    So how long ago? 10 years? 20? If serious structural issues were going to arise, they would be evident by now.

    Local Authority enforcement action will not be an issue after all this time.

    But it is likely (inevitable even if Building Regs was in place) that it would notbe to current standards (which are now much tighter). So insulation levels, fire protection, etc.

    Up to you if that's a problem. If it is, buy a brand New Build.
    • mallen
    • By mallen 5th Feb 18, 4:24 PM
    • 41 Posts
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    mallen
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 4:24 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 4:24 PM
    So how long ago (roughly) were the works done? The more historic they are, the less likely it is that anyone will take enforcement action for the lack of paperwork, or that any deficiencies in the structure etc will suddenly become apparent.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    I have worked out from looking at HM land registry the work must have been done before 1996.

    Removing the chimney stack (the bit outside) is not notifiable, I do not think, nor is blocking off the fire. It should have a vent somewhere though as that can get damp if they are purely just blocked up.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    OK thanks, I have a building surveyor going in end of the month so will investigate then.

    so 3 owners ago (4 ifyou buy it)?

    So how long ago? 10 years? 20? If serious structural issues were going to arise, they would be evident by now.

    Local Authority enforcement action will not be an issue after all this time.

    But it is likely (inevitable even if Building Regs was in place) that it would notbe to current standards (which are now much tighter). So insulation levels, fire protection, etc.

    Up to you if that's a problem. If it is, buy a brand New Build.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Yes 4 owners ago if I buy it =)
    The work was done before 1996. So at least 22 years ago.
    Apparently there is an indemnity policy for the loft dormer but the owner doesn't have a copy?? Why would he mention that?
    • AlexMac
    • By AlexMac 5th Feb 18, 4:34 PM
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    AlexMac
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 18, 4:34 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 18, 4:34 PM
    The concensus seems to be that it's not a problem, although you will possibly face the same questions/doubts from a buyer when you eventually sell.

    When we bought, there was no building regs approval for the removal of an internal wall, three or four prior ownerships ago. The immediately prior owner had done what you are doing; getting a surveyor's report. Our solicitor pointed out that that surveyor's legal protection cover wouldn't apply to us. We'd need our own.

    We took the view that as its hadn't moved in 20 years, we wouldn't bother. Six years on, it's still sound!
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 5th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • 6,820 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #7
    • 5th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    I wouldn't worry about stuff from over 20 years ago (unless there's an actual problem with the condition of the property).
    • Ithaca
    • By Ithaca 5th Feb 18, 5:10 PM
    • 229 Posts
    • 250 Thanks
    Ithaca
    • #8
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:10 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:10 PM
    We had a similar issue selling our house - no paperwork for a removed chimney breast. For whatever reason it wasn't flagged as a concern when we purchased but our buyers solicitor picked it up.

    We ended up with the dreaded Indemnity Policy. We argued enforcement was vanishingly unlikely as the work had been done at least 15yrs before but it was worth £60 to push the sale along.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 5th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    • 3,765 Posts
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    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    Why are they describing it as a 4 bed if one of the bedrooms is a landing? Who is going to sleep in a bedroom with a staircase in it? This is like one of those houses where you have to go through one bedroom to get to another.

    Apart from the chimney thing you need to check that you aren't paying a 4 bed price for a 3 bed house.

    If the loft conversion had been done to get a 4th bedroom they would have put the stairs in a different place not in one of the bedrooms. It sounds as if all of the work has been done on the cheap?
    • Chrisblue1962
    • By Chrisblue1962 5th Feb 18, 8:10 PM
    • 1,146 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    Chrisblue1962
    Contact your Local Authority Building Control Officer.

    They won't take enforcement action if its more than 4 years after the works were carried out. However, a loft conversion which does not meet building regulations re. fire safety, structural stability and access is a potential death trap. You can always apply for Regularisation (retrospective approval) but this may prove costly, depending upon what faults the Building Control Officer finds
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    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 5th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    • 6,820 Posts
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    davidmcn
    Contact your Local Authority Building Control Officer.
    Originally posted by Chrisblue1962
    Or don't, if there's any risk that you or a lender will need to rely on an indemnity policy (as tipping off the council will invalidate the cover).
    • mallen
    • By mallen 5th Feb 18, 8:56 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    mallen
    We had a similar issue selling our house - no paperwork for a removed chimney breast. For whatever reason it wasn't flagged as a concern when we purchased but our buyers solicitor picked it up.

    We ended up with the dreaded Indemnity Policy. We argued enforcement was vanishingly unlikely as the work had been done at least 15yrs before but it was worth £60 to push the sale along.
    Originally posted by Ithaca
    So when you sold you had to pay for an Indemnity policy for the new buyer?

    Should I be requesting a indemnity policy from my seller?
    • mallen
    • By mallen 5th Feb 18, 9:08 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    mallen
    Regarding buildings insurance - I have done an online quote which asked "has there been any building work/extensions etc" I selected yes but worry that because there are no building regs for the removal of the chimney stack and dormer all generic building insurance will be invalid..
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 5th Feb 18, 9:17 PM
    • 24,468 Posts
    • 67,333 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    All Period properties would have been built without building regs. It isn!!!8217;t a problem.

    Ifyou had something new that wasn!!!8217;t built safely then I!!!8217;m sure buildings insurance wouldn!!!8217;t cover for poor workmanship but the test of time eradicates that risk.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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