Retrospective building regs sign off

12 Mar 2021
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United Kingdom
Hi All,

First post here, but struggling to find help.

I’m selling my house and am due to exchange next week, but have encountered a massive problem with the building regs completion certificate from a garage conversion in 2015.

When we had the conversion work done, our builder arranged for the inspector to come round and sign it off. This all happened and the inspector was happy with the work. A couple of weeks later I received a certificate in the post, filed it away and thought nothing more of it.

We are now selling our house and our solicitor asked me to provide the certificate, which I did. It turns out that I only had the electrical certificate from the electrician, not the completion certificate from the inspection company. I called the company and asked them if they could forward a copy of the certificate to me and this is where things started to go downhill.

It turns out that the original inspector never bothered filing the report so the certificate wasn’t issued. I didn’t query it at the time because I though I had what I needed. The office agreed that it was strange that the inspection had been carried out but no report completed. To make matters worse, the inspector left the company 3 years ago.

I explained the urgency of the situation and we agreed that the quickest way to resolve it was to just get another inspection done. That happened on Tuesday and the inspection seemed fine. My builder was also present and able to answer any questions from the new inspector. I was told that he would issue his report by the end of this week. So far, so good.

Then this afternoon I received an email from the new inspector with his report. He won’t sign off the work and has identified several areas that need to be sorted first, including fitting of a mains-powered smoke alarm and cavity trays in the walls.

I don’t know what to do. I really need this sorted ASAP. The inspectors office have said that they will talk to the chief inspector and call me back on Monday morning. I feel so angry that these issues were not brought to my attention back when the work was first inspected. I also wonder if the new inspector (young lad) was being a bit keen. Don’t know.

Anyway, I’m up the creek without a paddle and trying to sell my house. I’m livid with the company and don’t know what to do next. I’d welcome any advice. Thanks.
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Ask your solicitor to arrange an indemnity policy.

Don't tell the solicitor you have contacted the council or the building firm.
Thanks for your reply. I’ve already told my solicitor. In any case, I’m not going to hide anything from them. They can’t indemnify against it.
Ok then plan b.

See if your solicitor can blag it, while you await the council to arrange a completion certificate (and hope the works are compliant).
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Just be straight with your buyers, end of the day if your getting the work fixed to the correct standards they should be happy aslong as it doesn't take months to sort, mistakes happen I'm sure they'll understand
It's probably out of time for enforcement, so you could say to your buyers "suck it up or I'll withdraw it from the market, sort the problem and re-advertise at a higher price". If there have been no leaks since 2015, then cavity trays are probably unnecessary, whatever BC says. Depends how keen your buyers are and how quickly you need to sell.
The OP has referred to the "company" so I assume its a private inspector who do not have any powers of enforcement.
Yep - it was a private company. Let’s see what they say on Monday...
Yep - it was a private company. Let’s see what they say on Monday...
A private inspector cannot enforce B Regs, though he can refuse to complete the work until these items are completed, in such situations they can cancel the initial notice, you can then see if you can find another private inspector to take over the work, though I doubt any will be willing to do so, or it reverts to the local authority to enforce B Regs, however due to the length of time expired they are statute barred from taking enforcement in any case.
Can we have more details on how you sorted it?? :D

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