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View Full Version : V cannot prove planning permission/building regs. consent



rick1976
23-10-2007, 09:29 AM
Dear all,

We are in the process of buying a property which has a garage extension and two rear extensions.

The seller has not provided any evidence of planning per or b reg paperwork in the SIP which has been recently forwarded to us. As a matter of fact, he has answered all NOs for question n9.

The survey report has highlighted these extensions as possibly requiring planning permission.

We have written to our solicitor asking him to clairify this.

I've done a bit of research online and from what i understand it all depends on the age of the extensions. I must have admit that I am confused about all this.

My questions are as follows:
a) if the extension did not require permission at the time it was built how do we stand. Am I right in saying that we would need proof from the seller as to when he carried out the works? For example builders invoice.

b) If the extension did require permission and the seller does not have it am I right in saying that indemnity insurance is the only solution?
We are not getting a mortgage for this purchase but we are worried that even with an i. insurance we would not be able to sell it easily in the future.

Any advice from the forum members would be appreciated.

jeffrey
23-10-2007, 09:40 AM
Obviously, it's best to get all required permissions and consents so as to avoid just this type of problem. V is obliged to comply with legal requirements!
However, if V did obtain them but cannot produce copies (or did not obtain them and enforcement period has elapsed), indemnity insurance usually solves such problems. Be guided by your solicitor's advice.

rick1976
23-10-2007, 09:44 AM
Thanks.

Does the need of having indemnity insurance reduce the chances of a future sale or the chances of a future prospective buyer to obtain a mortgage?

rick1976
23-10-2007, 09:45 AM
sorry Mr Jeffrey I forgot to ask if we still need proof of when the works were carried out. Am I right in saying that before being granted an i insurance we would have to show exatcly when the works were carried out?

jeffrey
23-10-2007, 10:11 AM
rick1976:
1. Like I said, better to ask your solicitor.
2. Most firms can issue ready-made indemnity insurance policies from standard policy folders (usually Countrywide and GCS are best sources). Each company, and each type of policy, will have its own specific requirements with which solicitors must comply for policy to be valid.
3. Use of i/i should have no effect on future sale.
4. Ultimately, your weapon against V is to threaten withdrawal unless V produces permissions/consents (or applies retroactively for them). As next-best, make V pay whole i/i premium.

rick1976
23-10-2007, 10:18 AM
Thank you again for your response.

One last question, how long can restrospective applications take?

jeffrey
23-10-2007, 10:41 AM
Thank you again for your response.

One last question, how long can restrospective applications take?

That depends on efficiency (or lack of) on part of local authority. Inevitably, one would be looking at several weeks minimum.

rick1976
23-10-2007, 10:46 AM
right, sound like a good excuse to drop the price down!!!:) if we decide to stay for the course

Richard Webster
23-10-2007, 11:53 AM
If the works are more than 10 years old they will be immune from Planning Enforcement if they were built in breach of an express planning condition of an earlier permission which prevented further works without consent. In most cases the limit is actually four years where there is no specific condition about the point.

So in most cases if the work is more than 4 years old the Planning Permission point is not applicable. Also some of the work might have been "permitted development" not requiring permission - but this issue is only relevant if the work is fairly recent - 4+ year old work is often immune in any event.

The law on Building Regulations is more grey. In practice Councils do not take any action at all after the work is 12 months old if it doesn't comply but the theoretical right to apply for an injunction still exists after that, and there is no formal period after which the work becomes immune. We normally end up having to take out policies for Building Regualtions to satisfy the lender in case a problem ever arises.

Building Regulation Indemnities are far cheaper than those for Planning, e.g GCS charges £75 for one properties between £200K and £250K. They only cover the costs of defending enforcement action and the loss of value if the works have to be undone (an almost nil risk) and do not cover losses caused by actual damage because the works themselves are substandard. The point here is that, apart from standard surveyor's back protection wording, does your surveyor actually see any problems with the construction?

rick1976
23-10-2007, 13:11 PM
dear Richard,

The surveyor is very happy with the house. And no objections have been raised against the extensions from a structural point of view. He has however suggested that our sol should check these extensions in terms of the required paperwork.

Can I ask you what you would do if one of your clients was buying a house and the seller said that the works were done more than 4 years ago but could not prove this. I mean the works could have been done 10+ years ago but if there is no proof how does one stand?

jeffrey
31-12-2007, 09:23 AM
Can I ask you what you would do if one of your clients was buying a house and the seller said that the works were done more than 4 years ago but could not prove this. I mean the works could have been done 10+ years ago but if there is no proof how does one stand?
As I said previously, I'd consider obtaining indemnity insurance (at V's cost) in order to guard against the possibility of enforcement action.