Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.


(20 Posts)
joash Mon 09-May-05 00:29:04

LOOONNNGGG RANT - please pay attention...
First of all - house went on market last months. Got a buyer almost immediately, who promptly discovered that there's no building reg's certification for the loft conversion. We were not aware of this, the loft was done about 15 years ago, we bought the house 7 years ago and were told by our solicitors at that time, that the paperwork was simply missing. Anyway, the buyer has done a runner - disappeared as fast as his little annoying legs could carry him. (I do think that he used this as an excuse because I refused to buy a new gas cooker to replace the recently new electric one in our kitchen and I wouldn't leave him £4000 of bedroom furniture as a freebie!!!!)

Anyway, contacted the local authority to chase uop the building reg's thingymabob. We've sent off a check for over £400 to apply for a 'regularisation' certificate - this means that if the loft passes CURRENT reg's - we'll get the certificate. If it doesn't, we can't sell the house as a four bedroom unless we have any remedial work done. Trouble is that they don't assess against the building regs as they wold have been 15 years ago - but against todays reg's which are more stringent. However, DH has checked and everything seems to match todays reg's except that fro some bloody stupid reason, any loft conversion done today has to have SELF-CLOSING FIRE DOORS EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE - not just the loft.

After doing some research into the Misdescriptions act - I phoned the estate agents who sold us the house as a four bedroom and after many attempts at ducking and diving - the guy finally accepted responsibility and has agreed to pay for whatever needs doing - this all felt rather too easy as I expected a much tougher fight. Since then, during a chat with an old neighbour, I discovered that the guy I spoke to (who is now a partner in the estate agents) has already got a criminal record for flogging houses under faulty misdescriptions - no wonder he was so agreeable.

Then TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE - a friend called to say that our current house had disappeared from the current estate agents website, in addition we hadn't had any interest in the house for over a week. I got HD to call them as a potential viewer and they told him that we had taken the house off the market as there were some problems with it!!!!

I rang and b*llocked the poor woman at the other end of the phone who sadi that the guy dealing with our sale had taken it off because he wanted to change the wording so that he didn't get pulled under the Misdescriptions act. Then she promised that she'd get him to call me. I've been chasing him up for days - the house is back on the website, but I need to ask him how many callers he has told that we have a problem.

So far he hasn't called me back - he's got until tommorrow lunchtime, then I'f camping in his office until he speaks and grovells to me - thinks I'm a sweet little fat women who wouldn't say boo to anyone - boy is he mistaken.


hunkermunker Mon 09-May-05 00:39:16

Grr, Joash! on your behalf!

Selling/buying houses is a nightmare - much sympathy. Hope it's all sorted soon xxxxxxxx

joash Mon 09-May-05 00:43:22

Ta chuck...thanks for the reply. Thought everyone had gone of to bed - just where I'm going in a little while.

miranda2 Mon 09-May-05 03:49:56

If it is any consolation, the selfclosing fire doors should be very easy - you just need to change the hinges for rising butt hinges (so they self close) I think.

SoupDragon Mon 09-May-05 07:43:59

I thought the self closing thing was an "arm" that goes on the top of the doors.

Which you then take off as soon as you have your certificate...

Berries Mon 09-May-05 10:00:08

Fire doors all have to be rated as FD30 (hold fire back for 30 minutes). You will need to check with your Building regs person but (take a deep breath) fire doors are generally wider than normal doors and so need deeper door frames to house them. You can get around the fire doors bit if there is a fire escape window in the loft. There are regs governing this as well, in that they have to be fully opening, a certain minimum size and a part. distance from the floor (don't know the exact specs here I'm afraid). Your best bet is to talk to the Building regs people. In most cases they are trying to help, and may be able to come up with some 'work arounds' which will be cheaper/quicker

joash Mon 09-May-05 10:30:31

Hi everyone - thanks for your comments.

The doors have do to be 'proper' fire doors with a regulation 'expansion-strip' and self cosers fitted at the top of the doors. Yes we could remove them once the reg's have been passed - but it's the actual doors that are the problem - we are talking serious building work here, not just changing hinges or doors.

The window in the loft is fine - complies with everything they require

Ameriscot2005 Mon 09-May-05 11:04:00

Our doors were made into fire doors simply by fitting the spring loaded bar onto the inside of the door frame.

The other thing that springs to mind for building regs is that you need mains-wired smoke detectors on each floor.

joash Mon 09-May-05 14:43:15

Thanks for that Ameriscot2005 - will talk to them and see if we can just fit the springs.
Knew about the smoke alarms - we have 'normal' ones anyway and didn't realise that they have to be mains wired.

joash Mon 09-May-05 14:46:07

Forgot to add that the estate agent finally called me back this morning - slight grovelling action going on. The sale is being 're-launched' from Friday (ad in paper, new brochures, etc) so I'm feeling a little more relaxed.

Evesmama Mon 09-May-05 14:55:14

id get them to do the advertising free and tell them you want a reduction in your final fee because of their crap service..or you'll pull the plug and take your business elsewere and tell the world about them!

arghhh hate estate agents!!!

joash Mon 09-May-05 14:59:56

Thanks Evesmama - done the 'free' advertising bit - never thought about the reduction in fees - must be stress!!!!

Evesmama Mon 09-May-05 15:01:31

you're like me..think of things afterwards

im sure they would rather give you a reduction, than you tell all and sundry about the whiter than white agent they have there!!

joash Tue 31-May-05 21:37:10

Got the bulding regs report. Not much to be done (doors, insulation - floor neds checking which requires taking it all up!!!), but enough to take too much time for us to complete in time to sell.

Now the bloody agents who sold us this house have decided that they're not accepting responsibility and refuse to help us - smug b*stard - I've just completed a complaints for and am sending it to the Ombudsman for Estate Agents...

SoupDragon Wed 01-Jun-05 07:50:31

Is it not your solcitor's fault if they told you the paperwork was missing?

joash Thu 02-Jun-05 09:40:57

Yes - although I've been told that the fault lies both with the solicitors and the Estate agents who mismarketed the property.

I did speak to the solicitor - who took a weeks to get back to me and suddenly came up with teo pencilled sets of notes scribbled on bits of paper in our file that he claims says that we knew that there were no building regs and bought the house anyway (as if we would!!!). This is a total fabrication - but we're stuck on how to deal with that one.

acnebride Thu 02-Jun-05 12:42:09

If it's your word against his surely it's worth going for it ?? what a nightmare!

Freckle Thu 02-Jun-05 13:14:16

To be honest, joash, I would expect something like a lack of building regs to be recorded in a letter. Scribbled notes on a piece of paper mean b*gger all.

Press the solicitors. Usually, they will do a report to their client once they have all the paperwork, flagging up any areas of concern. If they didn't do this and are relying on scribbled notes to convince a court that they advised you of a problem, then I don't fancy their chances.

joash Thu 02-Jun-05 13:29:22

Actually Freckle - you're not the first person to say that something should have been put in a letter. I'll have a word with DH and see where we go from here. Thanks.

joash Tue 28-Jun-05 22:35:18

Oh well - taken the house off the market until we have the building work done.

I will be going to Cornwall in early August with GS and DS - DH will be staying here (with a small sofa, an air bed and that's just about it) until the house sells.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: