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Reck B

Would This Put You Off Buying A House..?

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We had an offer accepted on a house recently and I've just discovered that a significant part of it (2 storey extension of 1 lounge with 2 bedrooms above) was built without planning permission 8 years ago.

Naturally i'm a bit pee'd off that stuff like this doesn't get mentioned from the start as lots of time, effort and money have been potentially wasted all round.

The reasons why planning permission was refused were, imo quite petty (because it would affect the character of the existing house and the neighbour would be overlooked) It appears that the current owners went ahead anyway.

All certificates & building regs are available.

Would it be nuts to go ahead and buy it anyway? Gut feeling after finding this out is yes.

Any advice, oh wise OT'ers?

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Built without pp is one thing. Built in the face of refused pp is entirely another and the word "bargepole" springs to mind.

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You could always deduct the cost of the extensions removal and making good from the offer price - plus a sum for time wasted, and anything else you want to deduct.

But I still wouldn't buy it

you could find enforcement biting you any time - for example

i) if the neighbours want to sell and think it affects their price, or

ii) if new neighbours decide they want an extension like yours and that brings it to notice when they are declined - but, but look, the neighbour's have an extension - Uh Oh,

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It used to be the case that if a development had stood for a period (5 years I think) without a complaint, one could apply for a certificate of permitted development, and as long as you could prove the development was over 5 years old, the council is obliged to grant the certificate.

Take my advice with a HUGE pinch of salt though, the law may have changed, my recollection is shaky, and there may be different provisions for AOONBs, Conservation Areas, and Listed Buildings, if those apply.

You would need proof of when the development took place. And go through the Building Reg stuff with a fine toothcomb.

Could actually be a bargaining chip when buying the house.

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Thanks y'all.

After a bit more looking I've discovered that a revised application was accepted but this isn't shown with all the other applications on the local authority website.

Panic over ! carry on....

Where's the red faced emoticon?

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What's wrong with you !!! Have you never seen homes under the hammer ?

Don't bother with the small print - just buy it anyway - and make a gazillion pounds imaginary profit in 3 months for painting a wall.

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After four years if the work has not been hidden then it is legal. I think change of use is ten years.

Edit: also building regs can only be enforced within a 12 month period using a section 36 and even then the council will only use this if they feel the non-compliance is a risk to life. Getting building reg certificates for new windows is a joke. I fitted some triple glazed windows with a tolerance of 1mm - amazing air tightness. DIY job that I refused to pay for a certificate of compliance on when the windows had already cost a fortune.

Anyone bothered about building reg certificates for every little thing then my advice is never buy a house. Strip back Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, 50's, 60's, etc houses and you will find they will all fail - I have corrected faults in my place that are so bad the council pen pushers would have condemned the place. Even new builds are self-certified by the builders.

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After a bit more looking I've discovered that a revised application was accepted but this isn't shown with all the other applications on the local authority website.

Panic over ! carry on....

Does the revised application reflect was has actually been built?

Better check that first before leaving panic mode.

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All certificates & building regs are available.

No expert but surely building regs would not of been passed/certificate issued if it hadn't of complied with the granted planning permission?

After four years if the work has not been hidden then it is legal. I think change of use is ten years.

Edit: also building regs can only be enforced within a 12 month period using a section 36 and even then the council will only use this if they feel the non-compliance is a risk to life. Getting building reg certificates for new windows is a joke. I fitted some triple glazed windows with a tolerance of 1mm - amazing air tightness. DIY job that I refused to pay for a certificate of compliance on when the windows had already cost a fortune.

Anyone bothered about building reg certificates for every little thing then my advice is never buy a house. Strip back Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, 50's, 60's, etc houses and you will find they will all fail - I have corrected faults in my place that are so bad the council pen pushers would have condemned the place. Even new builds are self-certified by the builders.

Most window fitters have self cert to avoid the building regs process. My parents bought an old place recently that had new windows, surveyors kicked up a fuss about obtaining the certificates for them. The Seller didn't have the certificates or paperwork from the fitters(either lost, backhander job or being awkward?) and they didn't seem the DIY type apparently. In the end the fuss got sorted out by the sellers solicitor getting an insurance policy to cover lack of building regs for the windows, think it was about £50 for a piece of paper. I bet these type of £50 policies are pretty common now, for what is a very low risk for an insurance company. Perhaps the solicitors get a small cut too.

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No expert but surely building regs would not of been passed/certificate issued if it hadn't of complied with the granted planning permission?

The building regs man only cares it's not going to fall down or kill people.

He doesn't give a monkeys if planning has said yes.

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