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  • FIRST POST
    • Kulpio
    • By Kulpio 8th Aug 18, 11:32 AM
    • 11Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Kulpio
    Loft Conversion no proven buildings regs - renegotiate price - help!
    • #1
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:32 AM
    Loft Conversion no proven buildings regs - renegotiate price - help! 8th Aug 18 at 11:32 AM
    Hi, we are first time buyers and have been looking for a year for a house in the right area, and the perfect location has come up. It is rural so not many options outside of a flood zone (Somerset).

    Anyway we can't seem to get any guidance from Solictor or anyone about what to do.

    So it is a bungalow that has had a first floor added in the early 90s. We have a full building survey and the survey basically said it is a DIY bodge job that would not meet current building regs.

    The sellers can;t provide the original regs either. Thing is the house was on the market for a week and it has something like 3-6 offers, some over the asking price. We put an offer in 20k over asking price and we got accepted. We were happy as its a lovely, peaceful location and we want to live there for years.

    But the survey uncovered this about the loft and we are worried we may have to fork out another 20k or so to have it rectified to meet modern building regs. We basically went to the agent yesterday to let them know what has come up and to hint we may want to decrease our offer. He said there are the other people who offered ringing up asking if things have fallen through etc. So now we do not think we will be able to drop the price.

    Bearing in mind the first floor has 2 out of the 4 bedrooms, we feel like the estate agent misled us into thinking these are actually bedrooms when the conversion does not meet building regs and is very dubious towards fire regs...

    Long old story here but do we try for a lower price? (It has been two months since our offer was accepted because they lost the deeds and wasnt registered with land registry and all sorts). We don't want to go in too low for them to say, No thanks, see you later, because deep down we really want the property but we have already gone above asking price to secure it but to put in another 20k or so, well we cant afford it...

    It is a difficult situation and no one is bloody helping us
Page 1
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 8th Aug 18, 11:47 AM
    • 13,346 Posts
    • 19,224 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:47 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:47 AM
    How much do 2 bedroom properties in the area sell for because that's essentially what you're buying, a 2 bedroom property with a hooky loft conversion.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Aug 18, 11:50 AM
    • 26,107 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:50 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:50 AM
    It's a bungalow with a first floor.

    What exactly did the survey say?

    The fire regs issues you're talking about is an escape window for each habitable. The other elements of loft conversions on third storeys don't apply to second storeys.

    No one would expect a conversion carried out in the 90s to meet current regs. If you want to do that, it's a choice.

    What exactly did the survey say? Are you sure "it's a bodge".
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 8th Aug 18, 11:59 AM
    • 5,894 Posts
    • 8,146 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:59 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:59 AM
    My view on bodge jobs is its not a bodge if it works. It seems to have worked for almost 30 years.

    My house doesnt meet current building regs because the plug sockets are too low on the wall. If someone tried telling me my house was a bodge because of it and tried to renegotiate to a lower than agreed price when i had other similar offers on the table i would be negotiating with someone else.

    That said, the simplest solution and one you should speak to your solicitor about is an indemnity policy. It basically covers you for any enforcement actions as a result of works not being approved. It wont cover you for losses as a result of any poor work but it will cover you if someone says it shouldnt have been done or hasnt been done properly (to the time). A few hundred quid, ask the seller to pay it. If its been up for nearly 30 years and a surveyor can only point out it doesnt meet current regulations then in all likelihood it will be okay. If it was about to fall down or dangerous they wouldnt be shy in holding back.
    Don't be angry!
    • Teasedale
    • By Teasedale 8th Aug 18, 12:06 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Teasedale
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:06 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:06 PM
    Who cares if it meets current regs. Probably most of the housing stock in the UK doesn't. Is it structurally stable, weatherproof, etc? If so, just enjoy it. If you are concerned, get a structural survey done. The surveyor will tell you if anything needs fixing, and then you can get quotes.
    • Kulpio
    • By Kulpio 8th Aug 18, 12:33 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Kulpio
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:33 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:33 PM
    'An original well built bungalow that has significant amount of dubious quality DIY work. We feel the first floor conversion is unlikely to have had either planning or building regulation approval and is possibly DIY work'

    Is the summarising quote.

    'Cracks and distortions at ground floor level which could be result of conversion and the headroom and poorly fitted velux windows are a poor feature'

    OK, so I did a CTRL+F and 'bodge' was perhaps my view on the matter as it is not mentioned, I guess it is not professional. But the current sellers have bought this place without taking any of this into account. Why are we the ones to bear that cost seeings though we have identified it.

    It may have stood for nearly 30 years, but its definitely in a state of disrepair with active woodworm.
    The fire escape (velux) windows are greater than the maximum height from the floor and therefore do not abide to current regs. So surely the estate agent can not call them bedrooms?
    Last edited by Kulpio; 08-08-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    • Kulpio
    • By Kulpio 8th Aug 18, 12:37 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Kulpio
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:37 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:37 PM
    Who cares if it meets current regs. Probably most of the housing stock in the UK doesn't. Is it structurally stable, weatherproof, etc? If so, just enjoy it. If you are concerned, get a structural survey done. The surveyor will tell you if anything needs fixing, and then you can get quotes.
    Originally posted by Teasedale
    Yeah, a building survey is what they used to call structural survey, it is what we had done.
    • Kulpio
    • By Kulpio 8th Aug 18, 12:39 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Kulpio
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:39 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:39 PM
    It's a bungalow with a first floor.

    What exactly did the survey say?

    The fire regs issues you're talking about is an escape window for each habitable. The other elements of loft conversions on third storeys don't apply to second storeys.

    No one would expect a conversion carried out in the 90s to meet current regs. If you want to do that, it's a choice.

    What exactly did the survey say? Are you sure "it's a bodge".
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    I have mentioned above the summarising quote, but it goes into depth about the timbers under the floor, the lack of timbers supporting the veluxs, the distorted and poorly fitting doors (likely due to movement) and also the poor headroom.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Aug 18, 12:50 PM
    • 26,107 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:50 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 12:50 PM
    Ok, sounds like you've dodged a bit of a bullet with that one.

    I'm afraid it's what surveys are for. Estate Agents market properties, it isn't their job to survey the house or check the relevant permissions. That's for your solicitor to do.

    It's the nature of the game, I'm afraid. You pay people to find the bad ones if you can't do it yourself.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 8th Aug 18, 12:50 PM
    • 3,842 Posts
    • 3,386 Thanks
    Hoploz
    Have you actually investigated whether it had planning / building control? The surveyor doesn't know and is assuming.

    I must admit it doesn't sound good ... Personally I'd be concerned about the woodworm.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 8th Aug 18, 1:01 PM
    • 61,280 Posts
    • 54,511 Thanks
    Thrugelmir

    It is a difficult situation and no one is bloody helping us
    Originally posted by Kulpio
    What did the surveyor value the property at in it's current state?

    Other interested parties are going to encounter the same issues. If the property is highly desirable due to location for example. Then having the neccessary work done may not be an issue for some people. As they might have bigger plans for the property.
    Last edited by Thrugelmir; 08-08-2018 at 1:03 PM.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • BakingC
    • By BakingC 8th Aug 18, 1:06 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    BakingC
    If they cannot prove it is up to scratch I would say best to leave it and count yourself lucky

    My mum bought a house with a loft conversion without proper proof of being stable. Mortgage company / solicitors said they didnt mind as it had been up a while and seemed secure, now we need the roof fully redone as it has started to collapse under the weight as the supports had been thinned to make room for the loft.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Aug 18, 1:08 PM
    • 26,107 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    Just to go back to the beginning, of course you renegotiate. I know the survey belongs to you but it's pretty damning and will back you up more than just not having the relvant approval.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Kulpio
    • By Kulpio 8th Aug 18, 1:14 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Kulpio
    Have you actually investigated whether it had planning / building control? The surveyor doesn't know and is assuming.

    I must admit it doesn't sound good ... Personally I'd be concerned about the woodworm.
    Originally posted by Hoploz
    The owner is in a care home, it is being sorted by a relative. The estate agent said they wouldnt be able to find any documents like that. I mean they struggled to find the deeds, apparently. So we are now assuming there is none as no one can provide any

    Woodworm can be treated right
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 8th Aug 18, 1:18 PM
    • 3,842 Posts
    • 3,386 Thanks
    Hoploz
    And when you do renegotiate, remember, it's not the lack of a 20 year old piece of paper that's the issue - the survey has highlighted structural problems which will require rectifying.

    I would only be buying this if it was the only choice and would definitely be a forever home. It's going to be a lot of hassle getting repairs done as its all hidden and will need opening up.
    • Kulpio
    • By Kulpio 8th Aug 18, 1:19 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Kulpio
    What did the surveyor value the property at in it's current state?

    Other interested parties are going to encounter the same issues. If the property is highly desirable due to location for example. Then having the neccessary work done may not be an issue for some people. As they might have bigger plans for the property.
    Originally posted by Thrugelmir
    The surveyor did not give a value in his report. I am not sure the other parties know about the issues, the estate agents certainly do know but didnt tell us or anyone. They said, well the vendors were selling it as a project. Then why not be clear with us to start with... The other top offer came from someone deep in a chain whereas we are non-chain so it is helpful for them.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 8th Aug 18, 1:30 PM
    • 2,154 Posts
    • 3,324 Thanks
    shortcrust
    I think the problem is that loads of buyers won't be even remotely fazed by the stuff you've quoted and the sellers will know that. With the level of interest you've mentioned my guess is they'd remarket the house in a heartbeat if you try to get a chunk of money off the price.

    You say nobody's helping you. What sort of help do you want? The solicitor can answer legal questions and the surveyor can tell you about the property. The estate agent is working for the seller. There's no one whose job it is to advise you what to do in this situation. Decisions about whether or not to proceed and whether to reduce your offer are for you to make on your own.

    If I were you I'd ring the surveyor to gauge whether anything needs doing to the conversion.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Aug 18, 1:34 PM
    • 26,107 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    Stuff needs doing to it.

    Come on guys, shoddy building work does exist and indemnity policies don't fix that. Let's be a little more thoughtful when offering up advice about indemnity policies and when they are suitable, by asking a few more questions.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 8th Aug 18, 4:28 PM
    • 5,894 Posts
    • 8,146 Thanks
    spadoosh
    Stuff needs doing to it.

    Come on guys, shoddy building work does exist and indemnity policies don't fix that. Let's be a little more thoughtful when offering up advice about indemnity policies and when they are suitable, by asking a few more questions.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    C'mon doozer, youre drawing on a comment that was the third post in direct reply to the OP. One which was lacking in much detail.

    I saw a new poster, i saw that what is a typical solution in these fairly common situations (lack of regulatory approval) hadnt been suggested and i recommended that the conversation was had with a solicitor about it. I also pointed out that it doesnt cover the bad work it covers the lack of approvals.

    I get it, youre the oracle in these here parts of the forum. Ill be directing any and all questions on this forum to your PM account as my advice is clearly unsuitable and you will know better.

    Pompous person.
    Don't be angry!
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 8th Aug 18, 5:15 PM
    • 5,307 Posts
    • 8,078 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    To sort this house out you are going to need a lot of spare cash.
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