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Building regs approval

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Wolfrustler, 2 Dec 2020.

  1. Wolfrustler

    Wolfrustler

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    Hi, Just wondering if any one is up on building regs, past and present.
    We bought our semi det bungalow in 1996 which needed updating so we had the following alterations carried out:

    1. The gable end room at the rear was a dining room at the time with door and window to rear, we had a 3m x 3m lean to conservatory put on the back then got the fitters to remove the door and window to create an opening between the two rooms. We also moved the location of the old kitchen and had a new one fitted in the dining room. All the plumbing, water waste, gas etc was carried out by a corgi plumber, and the electrics by a certified electrician.

    2. The front lounge was accessed by a door from a small vestibule leading to the front door and exited through another door into a hallway. We had a stud wall built in the room which created a smaller room and another hallway. We then used this smaller room as the bedroom, and the old bedroom at the rear became the lounge. No issues here with lighting, ventilation, escape etc.

    3. The old old bathroom and toilet were separate and next to each other. We had the wall between the two rooms taken out to create one main bathroom and toilet. This wall is a non supporting wall.

    Looking back when we had this work done 24 years ago I don’t recall building regs approval ever being mentioned or whether it was required or not.

    We are planning to sell our property in around 4 years time and I’m a little concerned that any of these works will flag up any issues with the authorities.

    My thoughts in the meantime :

    1. Get a surveyor in to do a bespoke survey to identify any issues with the work to consider any remedial action required.
    2. Ask local building control their opinion and maybe get retrospective approval.
    3. Do nothing until we put the house up for sale, and see what that throws up with conveyancers, surveyers etc. I’ve heard that an indemnity policy put in place could be a solution to these type of issues.

    I am a bit of a worrier and maybe I’m overthinking all of this unnecessarily. But would value any feed back and advise on this.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. mikeey84

    mikeey84

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    Option 3 is likely to cause the least pain. Just be prepared to lower the asking price once the buyers find out.

    If you price that into the sale price, then it shouldn't hurt too much and won't be a nasty surprise
     
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  4. Old Salt

    Old Salt

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    The removal of the door and window into the lean-to conservatory is certainly not allowed now. Ask me how I know! We got an indemnity policy which is based on the value of the sale, ours cost £63.50, and apparently can only be bought by a solicitor and if the authorities have no knowledge. Not sure if the time gap will make a difference but it would be difficult to take enforcement action after such a long time. Ultimately it depends on who you sell to I suppose.

    I am sure an expert will be along shortly.
     
  5. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    It is allowed, however it is a change of use under B Regs, this brings into play a list of regs (but not all) that it will need to comply with. At the time the work was carried out the requirements were far less onerous, for example Part L (thermal insulation) and Part C (resistance to moisture) would not have applied.
    Enforcement is statute barred after 2 years so the indemnity is a waste of money as it is already statute barred, you're effectively insuring for something that already cannot happen. Easy money!!

    OP
    1. The conservatory would have been a change of use once the doors were removed, you could replace them and it no longer falls within B Regs as an easy solution. The drainage to the new kitchen would have required B Regs regardless of who did it. Electrics were not in B Regs at that time.
    2. Probably nothing that required B Regs.
    3. As its non load bearing no B regs required.

    You can apply for retrospective approval (regularisation Cert) but you will need to satisfy B Control it complies with B Regs applicable at the time the work was carried out so you may have to open up/remedy some of the work.
     
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  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Option 3
     
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  7. denso13

    denso13

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    As above, option 3, don't worry about it.
     
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  8. Wolfrustler

    Wolfrustler

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    Thanks for replies chaps. The first solution then would be to re fit an external door between kitchen and conservatory. We also have a radiator in there which is fed from main CH system, but that can be removed as I understand the heating in conservatory should be independent from main house.

    Ref the kitchen, Clearly I would have needed B regs for the plumbing work: drainage, sink, ventilation, and maybe gas as well..
    As mentioned, I don’t recall building regs being applied for, although the plumber would have provided invoice/paperwork etc but I have mislaid this.
    We still use the same plumber and he installed a new boiler for us this year, but for this we do have the building regs certificate.

    Is it possible I wonder for our plumber to provide certification for the original kitchen work from 1996..?
     
  9. denso13

    denso13

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    No, that isn't how it works, plumbers don't/can't provide certification for kitchen works. There is no such thing.
     
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  11. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    IMHO you are vastly over thinking this.

    The House Information Form TA6 which you fill in when you market a property is NOT Mandatory - it says so in the pre-amble "Completing this form is not mandatory, but omissions or delay in providing some information may delay the sale."
    Don't lie, but just put "don't know" in any boxes you are unhappy with - It's buyers prerogative to check whatever they like (or you could write "nothing in the last 20 years" - a 100% truthful statement). If they ask for any certificates you haven't got, just say you haven't got any.
    Put the house on the market and move on. No-one is going to research 24 years of house history to try and catch you out. In any case, it sounds like all the work is way older than the maximum enforcement periods. People buy houses in all sorts of conditions and it's up to them to have their own surveys and inspections done so they know what they are buying.
     
  12. Wolfrustler

    Wolfrustler

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    You’re right Rusty, I do tend to over think things....

    I suppose situations like this are a daily occurrence in the process of buying/selling houses and there is always a simpler solution than you imagine....

    Just another thought though, how can I prove that the work was done 24 years ago, without invoices this is not possible...?
    ( there I go again.... )
     
  13. denso13

    denso13

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    Prove it to who?
     
  14. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    A little correction, some of this work can now be covered by a self certification scheme, although technically incorrect I refer to it as a "Part H registration"
    Though in 1996 this scheme did not exist so its no help to the OP.
     
  15. Wolfrustler

    Wolfrustler

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    The local authority if it came to it, the fact that the work was done so long ago they may not be too concerned, and different regs then etc.....
     
  16. denso13

    denso13

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    It really won't come to that, stop worrying.
     
  17. mikeey84

    mikeey84

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    They really won't care, unless its likely to cause a real danger to people.

    The time limit of them enforcing any changes has long since passed in your case.

    Leave it as is, and see what the buyer wants to do.

    I just brought a house with an extension built 20 years ago with no BCO sign off. I dug a pit to look at the foundations, and had a look in the ceiling and was satisfied it was built to a reasonable standard, and then had £2k knocked off the asking price.

    I've since had BCO in to sign off a beam install, and they didn't even blink when I said the extension was built prior to my ownership
     
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