Missing completion certificate ( regarding extension)(15 Posts)
Wondering if anyone can advise what might be the worst case scenario here. We are buying a house, it has a 2 storey extension, plans were submitted and agreed, I have seen these.
The work was subsequently done, my solicitor has informed me that the vendors haven't (yet) supplied the building regulations completion certificate.
I am hoping that this is just an oversight by the vendors and it is all in hand.
However I have a niggling feeling...what if they didn't ever get it signed off?
Can it be resolved, does anyone have any experience of this please?
Worst case scenario may be that you get vendor to pay for you to get indemnity insurance / to cover risk of no completion certificate. Your solicitor should advise you on this.
Can't you just contact the council and get a copy? It doesn't mean the house is going to fall down just because there isn't one. It could be something like a door is not a fire door which you (they?) can easily fix.
Thank you Newquay.
I will ask solicitor in the morning. I have read conflicting information, apparently if the vendors (or us) contact the council, and they confirm a certificate does not exist, then they won't be able to take out indemnity insurance.
Thankfully our solicitor is very efficient and on the ball, I was just worrying a bit this evening, thinking the sale might not go through! (And the sale of our house is seemingly going through very well)
I am just worrying Edith that they didn't ever get one.
We have an extension on the house we are selling and it was one of the first documents we provided. Surely if our vendors have a certificate (or lost it) they would arrange to send either the original (or get a copy) and send to our solicitor as a priority. Rather than leave us wondering why it is missing?
I am a worrier though!
Buying a house is a horrible process though. Good luck, hopefully it'll turn up.
Thankyou for your reply.
It is stressful at times, but I try and focus on the fact we will get a new house in the end. Last time I moved it was pre children and the paperwork was easier I think.
Yes good luck! I do see what you mean - but I know that when I sold my place there was no completion certificate for a staircase - and the purchasers solicitors did get indemnity insurance. I don't think anyone contacted the council - but I agree that would be the best option in case you can get a copy.
I think conveyancing is stressful - even if it's a straightforward case. Look after yourself (meditate etc ) everyday x
Thanks for the replies, much appreciate.
Well timed advice Newquay re looking after myself I have other stuff going on too and need to relax a bit x
Be careful. The indemnity will only cover any fines that maybe levied if the council insists on retrospective building regs being applied for and not the cost of application fee and any works. I was in a similar position but the solicitor did not point out there wasn't building regs and we have spent £4k on getting work done and 4 years of inspections etc! In my case we now have a claim against the solicitor who failed to point out there was no building regs to us even though the search had told them there wasn't. If you do proceed you are in a different position in that you know and therefore proceed only if you are prepared to accept the risk. If there are no building regs I would ask the vendor to go to the expense and hassle of a retrospective application or walk away!
I agree that the perfect solution then would be to get them to do the retrospective application. That's a good idea. You might even try saying this anecdotally to your solicitor - by way of I had a mate.....who ended up suing her solicitor. I'm just saying (being a solicitor myself (not in conveyancing)) that if a client shows that they are aware of what could go wrong and that they might sue if I advised wrong woulf force me to probably escalate to more senior solicitors. I dunno. Just saying it doesn't hurt to sometimes hint at things. That sounds terrible doesn't it.
Anyway. It's the weekend. Make sure u treat yourself and get away from whatever stresses u have going on.
If the extension is recent (last few years) then I would not be going ahead without a completion certificate especially on a large build like a 2 storey extn.
Having recently had work done I can't see why they haven't supplied the cert UNLESS they didn't go through full approval and if that's the case why?
The risk is all on you if you buy without the certificate - some building regulations are onerous but mostly they are there to ensure that modern buildings are structurally safe, minimise fire risks and well insulated to save on energy costs.
At a minimum the foundations should have been checked to ensure that they are at the right depth. All the new electrics installed by a competent person, all materials should be up to fire and insulation standards etc. We had to recently change a window due to building regs before sign off, I was happy to do so and it was not an adequate fire escape - why would I put our family at risk for the sake of a few hundred pounds?
We had a garage to kitchen conversion done in the 1990s; the Building Regulation certificate was never issued because there was a gas vent missing. Over the years this was rectified but when I was preparing to sell the house in 2013 I contacted the council, they sent someone out to see the gas vent was in place and provided the certificate. It was really easy despite being almost 20 years later!
Coming back to update, for my own reassurance really as we seem to be moving forward albeit very slowly.
Our offer was accepted end of March. Sellers have been tricky right from the start, inconsistent with information, denied access to surveyors. They are divorcing and it is messy.
Anyway I got in touch with building control, the inspector was most helpful. I paid for an inspection, thankfully the extension is signed off for the works "to date" and when we move we will get it completed and the final inspection done. They did go off plan which I was concerned about, but not enough to concern building control. A local builder has come round and he was very enthusiastic about the potential and the fact that there is only minor stuff still to do, plus a shiny new kitchen!
Our Lender has understandably made a list of conditions before they will agree the mortgage. Basically the sellers have not kept any records of maintenance or boiler servicing or electrical reports or anything at all really. So we are having to sort it all out at great expense. Thankfully all of the reports/surveys are coming back with no major issues, so that will be peace of mind for the future, and fulfil the lender's requirements.
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