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Buying house with lean to and toilet without consent

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Nica25, 3 Dec 2020.

  1. Nica25

    Nica25

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    Hope someone can offer some advice. Buying a house and had the survey back. The house is in great condition and we love it, but someone in the past (pre-current owners) have built a lean-to on the side. It’s built on a retaining wall. It’s been standing for a long time but surveyor is concerned it’ll be prone to movement etc. Doubt it has any proper foundations but inside it’s been done nicely as a utility. The current owners have added a loo. Although to an untrained eye the loo looks very nice, surveyor has said it clearly doesn’t have building reg consent as the pipework is dicey and the lean to as a whole is single skin. There are things we can do to improve it but not sure if it would ever get consent as it’s technically external?

    If the seller takes out indemnity insurance, are we covered if anything happens to it (worst case scenario - falls down!!!)? Also at some point we want to take down an internal structural wall and know we’ll need building regs to check it. If they see the lean-to on the retaining wall, and the wc, will they make us remove it all? Potentially devalues the house in terms of space... also are we mad to spend money making it good, when it’s possibly unstable? It’s been up for a good 10+ years though!

    Thanks for any advice. we definitely don’t want to pull out of the purchase as the house itself is perfect, just concerned about this dodgy build!!
     

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  3. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Any idea how long ago it was done?
     
  4. Nica25

    Nica25

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    We’re not entirely sure. At least 5 years ago. Possibly more than 10. The current owner has been there 2.5 years and definitely didn’t put up the lean-to. The previous owners were there 9 years and it’s possible they did but could have been even before that
     
  5. Captain Nemesis

    Captain Nemesis

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    No - all those policies do is cover you against the costs of any enforcement action taken by the council. And theyre null and void ifanybody has ever asked the council about the structure.
     
  6. Nica25

    Nica25

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    Thanks that’s helpful to know. If anything does happen to it, would that be covered by our building insurance? Or we would need to suck up the cost of repairs?
     
  7. Nica25

    Nica25

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    We’re not entirely sure. At least 5 years ago. Possibly more than 10. The current owner has been there 2.5 years and definitely didn’t put up the lean-to. The previous owners were there 9 years and it’s possible they did but could have been even before that

    Read more: https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/...-toilet-without-consent.558730/#ixzz6fbeZu8dJ
     
  8. Captain Nemesis

    Captain Nemesis

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    Check your insurance, read the small print but if I had to guess Id say that no insurer in their right minds would cover buildings that hadnt been done in accordance with the regs.
     
  9. big-all

    big-all

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    Building insurance is against accidental damage so wont cover something that can be predicted like lack off maintenance or misuse
    some policies will also mention "off standard construction and from standard materials "or words to that effect
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2020
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  11. Nica25

    Nica25

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    Thanks - any thoughts on this?

    Also at some point we want to take down an internal structural wall and know we’ll need building regs to check it. If they see the lean-to on the retaining wall, and the wc, will they make us remove it all? Potentially devalues the house in terms of space... also are we mad to spend money making it good, when it’s possibly unstable? It’s been up for a good 10+ years though!

    Read more: https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/...-toilet-without-consent.558730/#ixzz6fbiEaKVv
     
  12. thomp1983

    thomp1983

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    If its been there that long then no one is going to make you take it down, the lba isn't going to start enforcing on something theyy can't prove the origins off and that have no affect on anyone else as it's not unsafe.

    If your having an internal wall removed that's all the lba inspector will be interested in looking at, they don't come snoop round people's houses to see what they can grass you up for, just keep the door into the extension shut and there'll be no more mention of it.
     
  13. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    How many old houses do you think there are with structures that were built at some undefined time in the past that are technically non-compliant? If you like the house, just buy it. Nobody will come knocking on your door, and if you have new work done under BC, there is zero possibility they are going to start archaeology on the files for something done years ago. If it falls down, rebuild it. Doesn't sound like it would be expensive.
     
  14. cdbe

    cdbe

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    You're not going to get in any "trouble", it's purely an issue of how it affects the value of the property to you. Compared to a otherwise identical property without it, it is either an asset with some value to you or a liability that will cost you to remedy - your offer should reflect this accordingly.
     
  15. Nica25

    Nica25

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    thanks, appreciate it. Totally get your point but you can actually see it from the street! There’s a side gate which covers if if you’re looking straight on at the house, however if you’re slightly to the left in front of the neighbouring house, you can see it’s built on a retaining wall and looks a little iffy - you can definitely see it’s unlikely to have proper foundations! See photo I posted. Do you think they’d still ignore that despite being able to see its key issue? Appreciate they’d never know the loo was there, but I’m also thinking about when I came to sell it on...
     
  16. Nica25

    Nica25

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    Does anyone know if you’d ever be able to get building regs consent for a loo that’s essentially in a lean-to i.e. no proper foundations, built on a retaining wall, single skin? I know it’s stood for a long time, but I know building regs need to check the structure is sound, and I’m assuming it probably wouldn’t pass that test even if we spend money on it to meet all the other criteria...??
     
  17. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Google earth has a Historical Data section.
    You can see if the extension is visible.
    Then slide the bar back in time
    You may get lucky and have proof that it's been there longer than you need?
    I don't know much about planning though.
     
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