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    • T4taylor
    • By T4taylor 5th Mar 18, 11:28 AM
    • 74Posts
    • 88Thanks
    T4taylor
    Enquiries that vendor cannot answer.
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:28 AM
    Enquiries that vendor cannot answer. 5th Mar 18 at 11:28 AM
    Hi folks,
    3 months after 16 enquires were sent off by our solicitor we have still not had all of the responses. The last one we are awaiting is whether the conservatory required building regulations. The vendor has only lived in the property for 18 months and most of the enquiries relate to things before she owned the property e.g she guessed the conservatory was built in 2010. Therefore she does not know the answer to the questions and said when she bought the house as a cash buyer in August 2016, none of these issues were raised. Is it possible for solicitors to get in touch with previous vendors to find out or is this not how it works?
    Many Thanks
Page 1
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 5th Mar 18, 11:31 AM
    • 24,271 Posts
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    LandyAndy
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:31 AM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:31 AM
    Conservatories are not covered by building regulations.
    • T4taylor
    • By T4taylor 5th Mar 18, 11:39 AM
    • 74 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    T4taylor
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:39 AM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:39 AM
    Seriously??? The latest email our solicitor has strung us along with reads, I have received a letter from the Solicitors today in respect of the breached covenant however, still await confirmation as to whether the conservatory required building regulations.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 5th Mar 18, 11:40 AM
    • 7,670 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:40 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:40 AM
    Conservatories are not covered by building regulations.
    Originally posted by LandyAndy
    Except when they are (in particular, things like knocking through a new doorway into the conservatory would make regulations relevant).

    Though tbh I wouldn't rely on answers given by the seller (or their predecessors - and no, you don't go trying to find them!). Any buyer (and their solicitor/surveyor) should really be working out the answer themselves. And then figuring out what to do about the lack of paperwork.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 5th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    • 2,671 Posts
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    ReadingTim
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    You could ask. She could agree to try, or not agree to try. Even if she tried, she may not have any success. Then what? It is entirely possible that the question may never be answered, and the box remain un-ticked.

    Ultimately it is up to you to decide whether you want to proceed or not - in this case honestly assess the risk that the structure will fall down, or the council will order it be knocked down. The existence (or otherwise) of a piece of paper may lessen the likelihood of this happening, but won't guarantee it.
    • Rambosmum
    • By Rambosmum 5th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    • 1,679 Posts
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    Rambosmum
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    Most people just accept an indemnity policy against such things. They aren't worth the paper they are written on but seem to satisfy solicitors.

    A vendor may well not know lots of answers to questions, you need to either accpt this, or buy a new build!
    • elsien
    • By elsien 5th Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    • 16,399 Posts
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    elsien
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    Could building regs not give you the answer if the vendor isn't sure?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 5th Mar 18, 11:51 AM
    • 24,271 Posts
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    LandyAndy
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:51 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 11:51 AM
    Could building regs not give you the answer if the vendor isn't sure?
    Originally posted by elsien
    Any enquiry directed to Building Control would invalidate an indemnity policy.
    • T4taylor
    • By T4taylor 5th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    T4taylor
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
    Thank you for all of your responses. In which case, how can I hurry my solicitor along to accept that a response to this enquiry won!!!8217;t be coming and get her to just send the report on those she does have.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 5th Mar 18, 12:04 PM
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    Smodlet
    I'd be more concerned about the breached covenant, depending on what it is.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • T4taylor
    • By T4taylor 5th Mar 18, 12:27 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    T4taylor
    Smodlet it is about the fact no outhouses could be built - this was stipulated in 1974 and the conservatory breached this.
    • stator
    • By stator 5th Mar 18, 12:45 PM
    • 6,237 Posts
    • 4,118 Thanks
    stator
    Sometimes solicitors can raise issues that don't really matter, they just demand paperwork for everything.
    If the conservatory is that old (you should be able to tell how old it is because conservatories get manky quite quickly) and it has no signs of any problems then tell your solicitor that you don't care whether it has building control or a breach covenant and to proceed with the deal. If you do care about these issues then instruct your solicitor to buy an indemnity policy. If the mortgage lender isn't happy, then buy an indemnity policy.
    Trying to chase the previous owners for paperwork is a waste of time, even if you find them they probably won't have it.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 5th Mar 18, 12:52 PM
    • 25,025 Posts
    • 68,506 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    If it is an ordinary conservatory, separated from the main house by an external quality door it will never have needed Building Control Approval because conservatories are classed as outbuildings, not extensions. Neither a completion certificate nor an indemnity policy is necessary. It still frustrates me that solicitors don't know this stuff.

    Any breach of an old covenant is easily covered by indemnity insurance if it is needed to satisfy the lender.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 5th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • 1,659 Posts
    • 3,417 Thanks
    Cheeky_Monkey
    I'd be more concerned about the breached covenant, depending on what it is.
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    That and the fact that she's only owned it for 18 months!

    I guess you've already asked why she's selling though and are happy with her answer?

    Edit: I've just noticed that you said "lived in for 18 months" rather than owned so may not be relevant
    I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 5th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • 3,027 Posts
    • 6,084 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Smodlet it is about the fact no outhouses could be built - this was stipulated in 1974 and the conservatory breached this.
    Originally posted by T4taylor
    Is a conservatory an "outhouse" since by nature it is attached to the main building? Is there no way around this covenant as, unless there is some specific reason, it sounds unreasonable.

    As stator said, if the conservatory has been there a long time, it would seem the covenant has been breached for a long time and nothing seems to have been done about it... Unless the vendors know differently?

    All the houses in this area have a restrictive covenant on paper requiring permission to be sought before building any extension. In practice, apparently this permission is never withheld so perhaps your situation is purely a paperwork/make the lawyers rich exercise as well.

    Best of luck, OP.
    Last edited by Smodlet; 05-03-2018 at 1:21 PM.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Ithaca
    • By Ithaca 5th Mar 18, 2:42 PM
    • 237 Posts
    • 253 Thanks
    Ithaca
    Thank you for all of your responses. In which case, how can I hurry my solicitor along to accept that a response to this enquiry won!!!8217;t be coming and get her to just send the report on those she does have.
    Originally posted by T4taylor
    Are you buying with a mortgage?

    It's been allueded to but if so, keep in mind that your solicitor is not just asking on your behalf but also your lender (as they are assuming a considerable interest in the property).

    If you are a cash buyer you can absolutely ask your solicitor to stop waiting and progress; but if you are mortgaging your solicitor has a responsibility to the lender and won't be able to proceed until they are satisfied the query has been resolved. It is frustrating but part of buying with a mortgage.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 5th Mar 18, 2:52 PM
    • 7,670 Posts
    • 7,816 Thanks
    davidmcn
    if you are mortgaging your solicitor has a responsibility to the lender and won't be able to proceed until they are satisfied the query has been resolved.
    Originally posted by Ithaca
    But as I said above, the query really shouldn't be directed at the vendor (who has a vested interest in saying that no consents would have been required!), so I think it's reasonable to ask the solicitor why they can't form their own view or ask the surveyor.
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