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  • FIRST POST
    • hardypp
    • By hardypp 12th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    hardypp
    Loft conversion
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    Loft conversion 12th Apr 18 at 4:51 PM
    Hello,
    I would appreciate any advice. We were first time buyers and Naive!
    We bought a house approx 6 months ago that was being sold as a 3 bed property. There is a loft conversion with the staircase in the second bedroom. The work was done in the 90s and so the sellers did not have any of the papers/ building regs that went with this. When we contacted the council we were told that because it is over 15 years that it did not need to apply with todays building regs.
    The house had a full structural survey with no concerns.
    The council have upped our council tax because it is considered a third bedroom.
    In light of the above was it appropriate for the estate agents to sell as a three bedroom?
    Should we have done differently at the time of buying?
    I would think getting a certificate now or getting builders in now would be extremely costly.
    Then, applying to the council to consider the house as 2 bedroom rather than three for a lower council tax is surely going to affect the property price when selling.
    Happy to explain my ramblings!
    Many thanks
Page 1
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 12th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 887 Thanks
    dunroving
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    Hello,
    I would appreciate any advice. We were first time buyers and Naive!
    We bought a house approx 6 months ago that was being sold as a 3 bed property. There is a loft conversion with the staircase in the second bedroom. The work was done in the 90s and so the sellers did not have any of the papers/ building regs that went with this. When we contacted the council we were told that because it is over 15 years that it did not need to apply with todays building regs.
    The house had a full structural survey with no concerns.
    The council have upped our council tax because it is considered a third bedroom.
    In light of the above was it appropriate for the estate agents to sell as a three bedroom?
    Should we have done differently at the time of buying?
    I would think getting a certificate now or getting builders in now would be extremely costly.
    Then, applying to the council to consider the house as 2 bedroom
    rather than three for a lower council tax is surely going to affect the property price when selling.
    Happy to explain my ramblings!
    Many thanks
    Originally posted by hardypp
    Not sure what you are suggesting here - converting a loft (I call them attics, but hey ho) conversion back to just a loft?
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th Apr 18, 4:57 PM
    • 8,181 Posts
    • 8,536 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:57 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:57 PM
    Are there similar properties nearby with a loft conversion? If so then are you now in the same band as them?
    • Gary123456790
    • By Gary123456790 12th Apr 18, 5:01 PM
    • 528 Posts
    • 343 Thanks
    Gary123456790
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:01 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:01 PM
    Congratulations on buying.

    It sounds like as a FTB you wanted a 3 bed property, found one, bought it, and that an increase in council tax was the only unexpected hiccup.

    I think you should feel proud that you navigated this minefield with only one (fairly minor) unexpected occurrence while you enjoy the house you own, happy that it has had a full structural survey, the council have confirmed that the building work is not missing any certificates and that after 20 years since there are no issues with the loft conversion then you can consider it sound.

    In summary put the kettle on, and enjoy.
    • tyllwyd
    • By tyllwyd 12th Apr 18, 5:25 PM
    • 5,383 Posts
    • 4,370 Thanks
    tyllwyd
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:25 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:25 PM
    I'm a bit confused why you think that building regulations approval would affect the council tax band? It seems that the process of buying and enquiring about the third bedroom has triggered the council to revalue the house. If the estate agent advertised the house as a three bedroom house and you bought it on that basis, I don't think you could have any complaint. I guess you might be able to complain that the seller should have warned you that the house was in the wrong council tax band, but I don't know how you would prove that the seller was aware of a problem.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 12th Apr 18, 5:34 PM
    • 10,884 Posts
    • 9,179 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:34 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:34 PM
    Valuations of dwellings for Council Tax purposes are carried out by the Valuation Office Agency (part of HMRC). They are notified by the council when alterations are carried out to a dwelling, but do not action these until a sale occurs.
    • AndyTails
    • By AndyTails 12th Apr 18, 5:51 PM
    • 71 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    AndyTails
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:51 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:51 PM
    Council tax bands are based on the value of a house, not how many bedrooms it has. The value of the house is based on what you paid for it.

    Your only chance to lower the council tax is to devalue your house in some way and then ask for a reassessment of the house's value... and I doubt you want a devalued house, it'd be worth less when you come to sell.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 12th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • 10,623 Posts
    • 6,154 Thanks
    CIS
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    The value of the property is based on open market value in a good state of repair - this is to create a common level for valuation (and prevent manipulation of the system).
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 12th Apr 18, 7:01 PM
    • 25,540 Posts
    • 69,367 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 7:01 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 7:01 PM
    Congratulations on buying.

    It sounds like as a FTB you wanted a 3 bed property, found one, bought it, and that an increase in council tax was the only unexpected hiccup.

    I think you should feel proud that you navigated this minefield with only one (fairly minor) unexpected occurrence while you enjoy the house you own, happy that it has had a full structural survey, the council have confirmed that the building work is not missing any certificates and that after 20 years since there are no issues with the loft conversion then you can consider it sound.

    In summary put the kettle on, and enjoy.
    Originally posted by Gary123456790
    I completely agree

    There's an improvement marker been put on the property that only kicks in once the property changes hands. The VOA have revalued on the basis of it having three bedrooms. The OP has a three bedroomed house and the council tax band to match,

    If the OP had bought any other three bed house in the same area, it would be the same or similar. There's nothing wrong with the loft conversion and it's absolutely fine for the EA to sell as a three bed. That is what the OP bought,
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 12th Apr 18, 7:03 PM
    • 25,540 Posts
    • 69,367 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    Council tax bands are based on the value of a house, not how many bedrooms it has. The value of the house is based on what you paid for it.

    Your only chance to lower the council tax is to devalue your house in some way and then ask for a reassessment of the house's value... and I doubt you want a devalued house, it'd be worth less when you come to sell.
    Originally posted by AndyTails
    The council tax band is based on the price in 1991(?). The only way the band increases is if the council thinks that the value (back then) has been *improved upon*. It's the loft that has triggered it. Not current house prices or what the OP paid.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 12th Apr 18, 7:04 PM
    • 25,540 Posts
    • 69,367 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    I'm a bit confused why you think that building regulations approval would affect the council tax band?
    Originally posted by tyllwyd
    Possibly the hardcore continent on this board that insist if a loft conversion doesn't have BCA then it isn't a room. Proof here that theory isn't true at all.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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