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Loft conversion only for storage purposes

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Comments

  • Section62 said:


    Thank you very much for your detailed response.

    Yes, our solicitor ensured that planning permission is in place and I have that document, as well as the completion of work (final certificate) by the private company.

    Permission granted in Dec '16, Deed of variation (acknowledging the premium paid, ownership and the storage clause) Feb '17 and Completion is Oct '17. 

    I think the loft space had only access from the flat I am purchasing since the beginning, but not 100% sure. The landlord at that time paid a premium to have the ownership, but as you mentioned, to keep the premium low, he added the clause of using it only for storage. It has a proper fixed ladder, a small toilet, heating, 3 windows, above 2 m height etc...

    As you mentioned, I will not settle with an indemnity insurance at this point. I would ask my solicitor to confirm they agree that everything is in place to use this as a bedroom (regulations, party wall agreement, permits, approvals) and remove that restriction from the lease. I really hope the seller would be okay to do this, or else I will probably walk out of the deal, which is a shame. 
    A 'ladder' isn't likely to meet the building regs requirements for access/egress to a habitable room.  What work was actually covered by the application/completion certificate?

    In terms of insurance risk, having an additional habitable floor is probably more of a concern than one extra bedroom.
    Loft conversion - the installation of 2 x dormer windows and 4 x rooflight.. 

    The work described above has been completed and we, xxx, has performed the functions 
    assigned to us by regulation 8 of the regulations. Copies of the notice of approval and of a declaration of insurance relevant to the work described in this notice are on the register kept by the body designated under regulation 3 of the Regulations.

    These are the relevant clauses I could find... The completion certificate is only a one pager..
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,845 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    Permission granted in Dec '16, Deed of variation (acknowledging the premium paid, ownership and the storage clause) Feb '17 and Completion is Oct '17. 

    I think the loft space had only access from the flat I am purchasing since the beginning, but not 100% sure. The landlord at that time paid a premium to have the ownership, but as you mentioned, to keep the premium low, he added the clause of using it only for storage. It has a proper fixed ladder, a small toilet, heating, 3 windows, above 2 m height etc...

    As you mentioned, I will not settle with an indemnity insurance at this point. I would ask my solicitor to confirm they agree that everything is in place to use this as a bedroom (regulations, party wall agreement, permits, approvals) and remove that restriction from the lease. I really hope the seller would be okay to do this, or else I will probably walk out of the deal, which is a shame. 
    I read that quickly and confused by the dates.  Does "Permission granted in Dec '16" refer to Planning Permission?

    I suspect the Freeholder would require an additional premium to be paid if the loft space is to be used as habitable living accommodation rather than just storage.  Likely to be calculated as a proportion of the increase in value of the flat for having the second bedroom.

    You reference a "proper fixed ladder".  What type of ladder and what angle / tread dimensions?  A "ladder" is not suitable for access to habitable space, but AIUI a "ships ladder" can meet the requirement even though it is still quite steep.  I think the regulations are linked to whether you would walk down forwards or climb down backwards.  

    If the vendor cannot resolve and evidence all the necessary issues then walking away now will be a shame but, quite likely, the best outcome from your perspective.  You will lose whatever money has been spent to date but avoid the future headache - you have to assume that the next buyer when you come to sell will ask the same questions and resolving won't get easier with the passage of time.

  • Permission granted in Dec '16, Deed of variation (acknowledging the premium paid, ownership and the storage clause) Feb '17 and Completion is Oct '17. 

    I think the loft space had only access from the flat I am purchasing since the beginning, but not 100% sure. The landlord at that time paid a premium to have the ownership, but as you mentioned, to keep the premium low, he added the clause of using it only for storage. It has a proper fixed ladder, a small toilet, heating, 3 windows, above 2 m height etc...

    As you mentioned, I will not settle with an indemnity insurance at this point. I would ask my solicitor to confirm they agree that everything is in place to use this as a bedroom (regulations, party wall agreement, permits, approvals) and remove that restriction from the lease. I really hope the seller would be okay to do this, or else I will probably walk out of the deal, which is a shame. 
    I read that quickly and confused by the dates.  Does "Permission granted in Dec '16" refer to Planning Permission?

    I suspect the Freeholder would require an additional premium to be paid if the loft space is to be used as habitable living accommodation rather than just storage.  Likely to be calculated as a proportion of the increase in value of the flat for having the second bedroom.

    You reference a "proper fixed ladder".  What type of ladder and what angle / tread dimensions?  A "ladder" is not suitable for access to habitable space, but AIUI a "ships ladder" can meet the requirement even though it is still quite steep.  I think the regulations are linked to whether you would walk down forwards or climb down backwards.  

    If the vendor cannot resolve and evidence all the necessary issues then walking away now will be a shame but, quite likely, the best outcome from your perspective.  You will lose whatever money has been spent to date but avoid the future headache - you have to assume that the next buyer when you come to sell will ask the same questions and resolving won't get easier with the passage of time.
    Yes it is planning permission from the council. 

    I agree with you, it will be very difficult to sell, as well as tricky to rent as a 2 bedroom, so I will stand firm on getting this resolved. I lost around £2.5K so far in the process and 10 weeks, but this is nothing compared to future headache. 

    It will also be in the best interest of the current vendor to resolve this, because otherwise they will start the process all over again for a likely similar discussion/problem with the next buyer. 
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,845 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Thanks for confirming the dates.  So we have:
    • December 2016 = Planning Permission
    • February 2017 = Deed of Variation to the Lease (restriction to use for storage only)
    • October 2017 = Completion of the loft conversion
    It seems as though either there was a mistake in the deed of variation or someone (which may have been an owner prior to current owner) was a little disingenuous in accepting the deed of variation with the storage use only restriction given they knew at that time the intent was always to do the full conversion to habitable space.

    At least you are being pragmatic in the whole process.
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