Building Regs

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    Building Regs

    Hi all

    The council took action against me for not obtaining building regs to convert my one bed flat into 3 studio flats.

    I didnt realise building regs was required to add a few partitions and bathrooms.

    Anyway, i lost the case and received a small fine.

    Planning enforcement are taking action for me to revert it back to a one bed. This is fine, as if i lose, i'll take out the partitions and problem solved.

    Building regs however are pressing me to uncover and redo works to meet the building regs for the 3 studios, or they will take me to court again and this time i'll receive a daily fine for every day the work hasnt been done (over £6000 at the mo).

    I've tried to explain to them that if i lose the planning appeal, i'll have to revert it back in a few months, therefore the building work for the 3 studios would be pointless. Their attitude is pretty aggressive.

    Any advice please?

    #2
    I believe this is common wih Building Regs, they will want to make sure that all the 'hidden' stuff is right.

    Undo the works they want undoing, but don't put right yet. This way...

    If you lose your appeal, you won't have wasted money on re-making-good

    If you win your appeal, you would have had to uncover (and make good) anyway to appease BR, so nothing lost.

    They will want to know that it is correct irrespective of planning permission as if your PP appeal fails, that does not absolve you from compliance with BR.

    Comment


      #3
      thanks, howeoevr there are tenants in there, so uncovering the work wouldnt be feasible

      Comment


        #4
        No, uncovering work will be inconvenient to you.

        If you lose the Planning Enforcement what are you going to do with the tenants? Do they know that the property they are renting doesn't have the required Statutory permissions?

        What does the Freeholder of the block of flats know of the conversion work you did?

        Building Control are not interested in the Planning issues you are having. They will persue any non-compliance with the Building Regs issues separately and rightly so.

        If Planning are taking enforcment action against you then I suspect that they have sufficient cause to do so and to win. You should seek advice from a Planning Consultant to check you chances of defending this action.

        As Snorkerz has said, Planning does not absolve you of your liabilities with Building Control and vice-versa.

        Regardless of how the planning is ressolved you'll need to evict the tenants anyway.

        I would suggest you start getting the tenants out because of the above. If you choose to draw out the process for you monetary gain then why shouldn't you be fined for maintaining a dangerous property?
        There is always scope for misinterpretation.

        If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

        Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mk1fan View Post
          If you choose to draw out the process for you monetary gain then why shouldn't you be fined for maintaining a dangerous property?
          I think 'dangerous' is a dangerous assumption. Lets go for non-compliant.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi all

            The property is perfectly fine

            All i added was a few partitions and a few showers - i even put a new fire alarm system in there - the gas and electric certs are all done too

            Anyway, my tenants have been advised of their legal rights - they have 12 month ASTs so i can only evict them after 12months, via the s21 route - i've sent them their notices already

            Any idea what i should do in this instance, with building regs pressing me to uncover some fo the works?

            Could they fine me, even tho i'm doing my best to move them on?

            Comment


              #7
              'The property does not meet the minimum standards as laid out in the Building Regulations.' This is the starting point that Building Control will take. Unless YOU can demonstrate otherwise then you are at risk of further prosecution and potential fines.

              You decided to undertake alterations for your profit without obtaining the necessary legal consents. Just because your tenants have ASTs with you does not protect them from eviction if Planning Enforcement action is taken. These ASTs also don't indemnify you from legal action by the Planning and Building Control Departments.

              If you can't be bothered to arrange access and opening up to allow Building Control to inspect the conversion work then you'll have to accept that you are likely to receive further fines.

              If you're unlikely to gain the necessary Planning Consents then the above inspection is pointless anyway - but you'll still be liable for the associated fines.

              Perhaps your first action is to get swift and proper advice on the likely outcome of the Planning Enforcement action.

              If it is likely that you'll not get the consent / loose the Planning Enforcement action then I'd start trying to get the tenants out early. Either by buying them out of their AST's or rehoming them. It may well be cheaper than the fines. That way you can do the reversion works quickly and minimise your liability with Building COntrol.

              If you're likely to gain consent / win the Planning Enforcement action. Then you need to get Building Control in there to inspect - regardless of the rooms being let - ASAP. Again, buying grace from your tenants is most likely to be cheaper than the fines.
              There is always scope for misinterpretation.

              If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

              Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

              Comment

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