Loft conversion building regs

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    Loft conversion building regs

    Hi guys this might have already been covered before but I’m currently purchasing a 3 bed house and near completion our solicitor has managed to find out they don’t have building regs for the 3rd bedroom (loft conversion). My question is can I let this as a 3 bedroom or is it legally only a 2 bedroom, apparently it has a fire safety certificate. This would be my first buy to let and I just want everything to be right I wouldn’t be comfortable letting it out if it’s not legal

    #2
    Unless this place is unbelievably great otherwise, I wouldn't go ahead.
    The seller should have sorted that out, or at very least brought it to your attention at the start of the process.

    And what else haven't they told you?

    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Yes I was thinking they’ve left it so late on in the process in the hopes that when I found out I’d not bother backing out, the estate agents are trying to convince me that it would be fine to let out as a 3 bedroom but I have contacted other letting agents that have said it wouldn’t be allowed and should not have been advertised for sale as a 3 bed

      Comment


        #4
        Unless the seller did their own conversion, any builder would have been aware of building regulation requirements, and so the seller would have been aware of the issue.
        I'd guess that they either very naively thought no one would notice (unlikely) or hoped you'd be so far into the process that the inertia and cost of walking away would encourage you to put up with it, or try and insure against an issue.


        If it's (at least notionally) a three bedroom house are you considering HMO?
        Loft conversions are notoriously tricky for fire safety.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          I would not walk away.... i would run away ! Not a hope would i buy a property where there was zero building regs on something that should of had them, as said.... what other bodge jobs have been done. Not a chance.

          Comment


            #6
            What sort of survey have you had done?

            When was this conversion done?

            Comment


              #7
              The conversion was done before 2007 before the current seller bought the house, the current seller has since then stud walled it and insulated it

              Comment


                #8
                Just needs seller to obtain retrospective building certificate, not a biggie and happens all the time but too risky to buy without.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The problem with loft conversions is that often the creation of them can put a major strain on the joists which when the house was built were not designed to have a room built onto them, underneath the boards and plasterboard all manner of nonsense can be going on, the seller of the house should have walked away as well !!! Just because they have made an error does not mean you need too. I understand that some kind of indemnity etc is available but it still does not rectify any issues that are below the surface.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                    Just needs seller to obtain retrospective building certificate, not a biggie and happens all the time but too risky to buy without.
                    I've tried to get them to do this but they are refusing because that would put the council on notice and then they wouldn’t be able to get indemnity after that.

                    to be honest I think I will be backing out

                    Comment


                      #11
                      DO NOT TOUCH WITH A BARGE POLE! Yes you have lost money but it will save you from a potentially bigger loss going forwards.

                      I believe it would be illegal to rent out as a 3 bed and the big concern, as pointed out by Hudson01, is that it may not actually be safe. The chances are that if you tried to get retrospective building regs the process would be quite invasive and insulation etc would not be up to standard & therefore expensive to correct. (Why else would your sellers not do it?)

                      An indemnity would only protect you from enforcement from the Council - it won't stop the house collapsing! If you think it might be a problem so will any future purchaser so why buy a problem?

                      If you let it out as a 3 bed and then under some licensing scheme it was discovered it only had 2 legally bedrooms you could face a rent repayment order.

                      My son walked away from a very similar scenario (residential not BTL) earlier this year. He lost about £1000 and someone else bought the property without batting an eyelid. This house and the one you are buying are probably both fine - but why take the risk?


                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Handy21 View Post

                        I've tried to get them to do this but they are refusing because that would put the council on notice and then they wouldn’t be able to get indemnity after that.

                        to be honest I think I will be backing out
                        You're making the right decision..... clearly one they should have made before they purchased it. Their reasons for not getting the council to approve it now do not ring true...... what exactly does ''put the council on notice'' mean ? The conversion will either pass or not, simple as that, i suspect they know full well it will not pass and does the loft conversion have a dormer ? And if so does it have planning permission ? For a first BTL i would look for something a lot more straight forward, there are plenty of traps out there for the new to the market, do not fall into them.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post

                          You're making the right decision..... clearly one they should have made before they purchased it. Their reasons for not getting the council to approve it now do not ring true...... what exactly does ''put the council on notice'' mean ? The conversion will either pass or not, simple as that, i suspect they know full well it will not pass and does the loft conversion have a dormer ? And if so does it have planning permission ? For a first BTL i would look for something a lot more straight forward, there are plenty of traps out there for the new to the market, do not fall into them.
                          No dormer just a velux window and I have a suspicion that it might be to high up, not sure quite what was meant by putting the council on notice to be honest just what the solicitor had told me

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If building control come out and don't pass it then you can't get indemnity insurance. but the Council can't usually enforce action after 18 months anyway so it all sounds bit suspect to me.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Handy21 View Post
                              I've tried to get them to do this but they are refusing because that would put the council on notice and then they wouldn’t be able to get indemnity after that.
                              Another red flag - that means that they think it won't pass or will need planning permission.

                              I wonder what happened when they bought it in the first place?
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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