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Buying a house with an illegal extension?

(46 Posts)
bangbangprettypretty Wed 08-Jul-15 12:11:38

Hi, I'm considering a weird situation and would really appreciate some opinions.

My DH and I are first time buyers in London and have asked to view a property. The letting agent has rung me and said the landlord built an illegal extension in 2012 which the council have ordered to be taken down.

The letting agent said we can get £30,000 knocked off the price of the property (which I would definitely offer even lower, maybe £50,000 lower). I know we'd not get a mortgage for the house as it stands with the extension.

I'm right to walk away, aren't I? The agent has suggested us paying a bond of £1,000 to take the house off the market, with I guess the suggestion being that we would then fork out for the demolition of the house and get the house for a snip afterwards. We are pretty much priced out of the whole of London so it's a chance to get an actual house rather than a flat.

toofarfromcivilisation Wed 08-Jul-15 12:19:22

Not sure that bond is legal. Maybe talk to the council about the possibility of retraspective planing permission? Has it been denied on planning permission or building regs?

Ask a lot of questions, don't spend any money & then take a view on it.

FishWithABicycle Wed 08-Jul-15 12:58:30

Walk Away!

Asking sellers to pay a deposit to take a house off the market directly contravenes the estate agents’ code of practice operated by the Property Ombudsman.

If the council have already ordered the extension to be taken down then it is unlikely you would get retrospective permission. If the property is unmortgageable in its current state then the sellers need a cash buyer or they need to demolish the extension themselves and get it into mortgageable state.

Do not spend any money on this place!

FishWithABicycle Wed 08-Jul-15 12:59:06

oops sellers=buyers inword 4 of my post apologies for confusion.

senua Wed 08-Jul-15 13:01:50

Don't take advice from the letting agent. Take advice from your solicitor/conveyancer.

specialsubject Wed 08-Jul-15 13:29:47

you are talking to a letting agent about BUYING. Wrong person.

as mentioned, speak to YOUR solicitor. But if the place is unmortgageable, it sounds a bit of a waste of time.

lalalonglegs Wed 08-Jul-15 14:04:26

This is really fishy - why doesn't the seller just take the extension down and sell it at an appropriate price rather than try to flog it with an illegal extension in place that is actually holding the sale back? Why would pay £1000 to "reserve" a house that you haven't even viewed yet?

I'm normally someone who takes a punt but, in this case, I would run away very fast. BTW, the extension must be an absolute shocker to have flouted so many rules that the LA wants it removed entirely.

SkodaLabia Wed 08-Jul-15 14:10:12

Can you put up a link?


Agrestic Wed 08-Jul-15 14:13:03

I purchased a house with an illegal extention in Dec 14. However it was 20 years old and the council hadn't realised, neither did the bank. My solicitor informed me, I took out a separate insurance policy on that part of the building (£30) and I've just knocked in down to replace (I was going to anyway).

What is it? Kitchen extention? One or two storey?

dinkystinky Wed 08-Jul-15 14:16:54

Walk away - that is a recent illegal extension and will cost a lot of money (and have a lot of hassle) attached to take down etc.

Also you should never, ever pay money to take a property off the market - that is entirely wrong and unethical of the agent to propose.

WizardOfToss Wed 08-Jul-15 14:30:13

I really think this needs reiterating to first time buyers. Estate agents work for the seller. They do not work for you. You shouldn't take their advice. You should have as little to do with them as possible - use your solicitor.

Good luck with your house hunt, and avoid this house like the plague.

ChilliAndMint Wed 08-Jul-15 14:31:38

Interesting..the letting agent being the landlord or agent for the landlord??
No doubt there will be a few " takers" for this too good to be true scam.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 08-Jul-15 14:41:30

Back. Away. Slowly ............. then turn and run fast.

it's a chance to get an actual house rather than a flat.
If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Sorry.

bangbangprettypretty Wed 08-Jul-15 16:18:47

Here's the link:


I am feeling so overwhelmed with trying to find somewhere to live! Thanks for all your input, I really appreciate it. I did mean estate agent, rather than letting agent (first time buyers so I'm not down with the lingo!). We currently rent in Zone 2.

Thelioninwinter Wed 08-Jul-15 16:39:00

Run, run for the hills. We bought a house 10 years ago which had an old extension, built before planning/building control was required/quite as thorough. Bottom line was, it fell apart. There was no one to blame but ourselves so £50k later, we had a new, better (but rather expensive), legal extension. Never, ever again.

This one close by looks better? lovelier one?

LIZS Wed 08-Jul-15 16:42:44

Where's the extension? hmm Sounds overdeveloped and nothing special. Interesting there's no floor plan or external shots. Avoid.

SkodaLabia Wed 08-Jul-15 16:51:27

Picture 10 isn't very inspiring, OP. grin

Have you been in the house yet? It may be that the problems are immediately obvious when you see it. I agree, the one Lion has linked to looks more appealing. Great garden.

We viewed a few houses with illegal loft conversions, in that there were no building regs in place, but I definitely wouldn't go so far as to buy something that has already had part of it condemned. I would think people who build illegal extensions aren't going to going all out for quality workmanship and I would think problems with the rest of the house would be likely.

bangbangprettypretty Wed 08-Jul-15 17:37:58

The one on Pears Road is gorgeous but has Japanese knotweed in the garden so I'm unsure if our mortgage lender would cover it!

Thelioninwinter Wed 08-Jul-15 18:00:28

Ok. Others will have the same problem. Could make an offer subject to it being dealt with by them prior to exchange of contracts? Depends how much there is really & how far from the house. Does it have to be Hounslow? Low planes there...

WizardOfToss Wed 08-Jul-15 20:25:31

Blimey, it's awful anyway OP. Never tried to buy in London, only 30 miles from it, but surely a decent flat would be better than this with all it's problems?

Damnautocorrect Wed 08-Jul-15 20:35:40

I'd worry he's bodged the extension, what else has he bodged? Electric, heating, hot water.
Don't pay 1k for a 'bond' he'll need to demolish anyway, don't be the one paying for it.
House market is quiet now, there will be more in sept

Damnautocorrect Wed 08-Jul-15 20:37:06

Pears road is lovely. Don't the council help with Japanese knot? Or am I talking rubbish?

seaoflove Wed 08-Jul-15 20:53:25

Those are the worst Rightmove photos I've ever seen. No exterior shot of the house? No wide angle lens? Photos of CLOSED DOORS?

It's horrible. I know you can't buy much for £320k in outer London, but there must be better houses than that. And asking for £1000 to get it taken off the market screams crooked agent to me.

yomellamoHelly Wed 08-Jul-15 21:00:19

We have an extension which was completed just before planning permission was required. We've had to replace the roof in it's entirity and are currently spending £55k redoing almost everything else (has severe damp - all electrics, pipework and drainage knackered).
Find somewhere else.

QuintShhhhhh Wed 08-Jul-15 21:00:32

Must you stay in that area?

Can you stretch to:

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