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Internal wall had no planing permisson, now buyer is requesting it

(15 Posts)
Sweetpea86 Wed 27-Jan-16 08:37:01


About 5 years ago we knocked and internal wall out too make our kitchen /diner in to one big room.

It wasn't a supporting wall. The builder replaced wall with a steel lintel. Every thing was done in the correct way.

We were told by various builders we didn't need any kind of planing permisson.

We have a buyer for our house and solicitor is requesting planning permission.

even now every one is telling us we didn't need it.

I'm totally stressed out what happens now? Can we lose the sale?

Any body been in similar situation

BinaryFinary Wed 27-Jan-16 08:40:25

Is your house listed?

Seeline Wed 27-Jan-16 08:45:45

Unless your house is Listed, you don't need planning permission for internal works.
You would need approval under the Building Regulations though. The buyers will want to see that the work as carried out in accordance with the Regs, and signed off, to make sure that the house is not going to collapse.

GingerNutRiskIt Wed 27-Jan-16 08:46:08

I've been in similar situation where I didn't have planning permission for decking, and for a loft conversion, and I had to take out an indemnity insurance policy, it only cost about £30 if I remember rightly. That covered us for the lack of planning permission.

PicnicPie Wed 27-Jan-16 08:46:34

We bought a house where a wall had been knocked down between two of the living rooms. The seller's didn't have planning permission. So our solicitors asked them to purchase indemnity insurance (apparently very common). Sellers refused but we were so far into process and didn't want to lose property so we purchased it. From memory it wasn't a huge amount and was a one off payment.


Sweetpea86 Wed 27-Jan-16 08:57:00

Thanks for all your replies, no property isn't listed it's an ex council house.

No we didn't get any one to check regs either

I have read about this insurance maybe that's my next step.

Thank you and will look in to it

namechangedtoday15 Wed 27-Jan-16 08:57:52

Ordinarily you don't need planning permission but you need building reg approval. One point to note - if either you (or the buyers, or your solicitors) approach the council about the lack of building reg approval / getting it retrospectively, then you won't be able to get (usually) the indemnity insurance. Get your solicitor on the case - this type of thing comes up all the time.

HD18 Wed 27-Jan-16 09:05:47

This is exactly what happened to us! We sold our house and exchanged early Jan 16. We too knocked down an internal non supporting wall to make our living room/kitchen open planned. We simply told him it wasn't a supporting wall so no permission was required, he went to the effort of sending his own builder friend round and was content so maybe you could offer they send someone round to check for themselves? Hope it gets sorted soon.

ABetaDad1 Wed 27-Jan-16 09:10:40

We lived in a rental property where the LL had done this. They sold the property and the buyer wanted to make sure it was complaint with building regs. The council sent someone round to inspect it and they issued some sort of certificate retrospectively.

It wasn't a problem and quite a common issue.

Pipistrella Wed 27-Jan-16 09:26:00

Building regs is correct as has been said.

We found out just before exchange that various things the previous owners had done, did not meet regulations. It was crap. We still bought it because it had taken so long to buy that we could no longer afford anything else.

Ring the council and ask them to get someone out to you. There is a fee but they can issue a certificate.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 27-Jan-16 11:29:00

Ring the council and ask them to get someone out to you. There is a fee but they can issue a certificate.

^^ this. Then if the sale falls through you'll have it in hand. Probably a similar cost to the indemnity insurance which was about £80-100 when we bought it for something.

Pipistrella Wed 27-Jan-16 11:32:37

This may out me but it's true you can't insure things that don't meet regulations. Our house is fine, but it's got a fire escape at the back which no one is allowed to use, apart from us at our own risk of course.

Built by the local 'I'll do it cheaper for you mate' bloke, the steps are all different sizes, it has no foundations and the rails are too low.

And it gets very fucking slippery in the rain.

This is an important thing for your buyers so if you get onto it quickly, it will make the difference between a sale and a pull-out.

We actually pulled out when we found out, but we went back in a few weeks later after realising it was our only option.

lighteningirl Wed 27-Jan-16 12:04:26

I had this last year when I sold it wasn't a supporting wall just lathe and plaster the council said you don't need permission to remove. The buyers solicitor refused to proceed without the non existent and unnecessary planning permission it was a right pain I just kept saying you don't need it in the end I contacted buyer myself and he said his solicitor was insisting so I said fine I am going to put it back on the market then. Solicitor backed down and said he'd checked again and actually what do you know it wasnt needed.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 27-Jan-16 12:29:47

See previous post. Just be careful about ringing the council.

If you ring the Council and they refuse to grant retrospective building regulation approval (for whatever reason, they don't think the work was done properly), you won't be able to get indemnity insurance.

So, only ring the Council if you're fairly confident everything is in order - if it isn't and you can't get insurance, you may have to do remedial work to get it into a condition that building reg approval would be forthcoming, or you may lose the buyer (or the buyer may insist on a price reduction and they'll do the work required).

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 27-Jan-16 13:52:59

I was under the assumption it can take a while to get retrospective approval.

We sold at the end of 2014 and had done loads of work (large extension, re-siting of bathrooms, removal of non-supporting walls, new timber DG windows at the front etc etc) in our non-listed Georgian house. We had (independent) building regs sign off for everything - or so we thought - but our buyers' solicitor (acting on behalf of their lender) queried the window installation and argued that these were not covered by our building regs.

A bit of a stand off ensued, with our architect claiming they were covered, but the building regs cert stated "extension & internal alterations" with no reference to Windows, so you can see why the other side's lender & sol weren't happy. Our buyers loved the windows, which were handcrafted by a talented & well respected local joinery co who just happened to not be FENSA reg.

We spoke to our sol about getting retrospective building regs approval and were told this could take six weeks. Apparently we couldn't use our independent building inspector for this.

It would have slowed the whole thing down, possibly caused our buyer's buyer to pull out - they were already threatening, even though the whole process only took nine weeks from offer to completion in the end - and we were all looking to complete before Christmas so an indemnity was our only real option. Cost us more (several hundred £££) as they had been in less than a year.

An expensive lesson learned.

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