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Where Do I Stand

(18 Posts)
FedUp100 Tue 09-Aug-16 17:51:11

A few months ago we bought a house. Before us, there was a previous pulled out at the last minute. Upon arranging a viewing, I asked the estate agent why the house sale had fallen through and why it was back on the market again. She said the previous buyer had decided to relocate. So we viewed it twice, liked it, and our offer was accepted. Two weeks before the completion date, I asked a different member of the estate agent team again why did the previous sale fall through, and I was then told it was because the previous buyer found out that the adjoining neighbours were planning a rear extension. I immediately said I didn't know anything about an extension and the estate agent bristled and quickly glossed over it. At this point we were due to complete in 2 weeks, and at no point had anyone told us about it - not the estate agent (when I first asked), not the vendor who we met twice upon viewing the house, not our surveyor nor our solicitor. We were in a chain as we were selling and had secured buyers for our sale. So we went ahead and bought. Now the extension is built and I HATE it. It completely and utterly changes the aspect of our back garden and the view from our back windows. It has cut out the previous lovely views we had and been replaced by a huge brick extension. It has reduced light, completely ruined the view from our dining room and kitchen and massively decreased the privacy in our back garden. It meets the boundary line of our 2 properties (semi-detached) and although it is single story it has a sloped roof which is as high as the upstairs windows with velux windows that we now look down in to from our upstairs back bedrooms. I used to walk from the dining room to the kitchen and see distant views of trees and sky through the kitchen door and window; now I walk through and just see a massive brick extension.
I feel really angry that none of this was disclosed to us throughout the purchase until I pointedly asked a second estate agent 2 weeks before the date we moved in. By then we'd paid for surveyor & solicitors fees, risked losing our buyers, had missed out on other properties that we had viewed and liked.
I liked this house when we viewed it, but I really don't like this house now and would not have bought it if the neighbour's extension had been in place when I first viewed it because it is so obtrusive to this house.
They had full planning permission and the previous owner had given her consent for them to build it but then not told us about this.
Where do I stand on this?
Advice much appreciated!

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 09-Aug-16 17:54:22

You stand looking at their extension. End of. You knew but chose to go through with the sale. What on earth do you expect?

Mitfordhons Tue 09-Aug-16 17:55:52

You knew about it two weeks before completion but went ahead regardless. The plans would have been available online and should have come up in your searches. Nobody is at fault here other than you I'm afraid.

PandasRock Tue 09-Aug-16 17:58:28

Why didn't your solicitors search not turn up the planning consent? Ours did, for something like a 200m radius from our property.

But otherwise, yes, you chose to go ahead in full knowledge. Now you live with it, or sell up.

JT05 Tue 09-Aug-16 18:03:06

In our sellers pack there was a question about building works/ planning applications within a certain distance. Did your sellers complete this information foe your solicitor? I think the question is standard. I'd go back to your solicitors and ask to see the paperwork.

DelphiniumBlue Tue 09-Aug-16 18:05:32

I would expect this to come up on the property information forms - you should have a copy. Been while since I did any conveyancing, but I think there used to be a question on the standard form which covers this. Check the form - if the seller actually lied then you may have some redress, although quantifying your loss might be an issue.
Your solicitor should be able to advise you, although there is the possibility that they knew but didn't flag it up.
I don't think the agents would be responsible to you, as they are paid by and work for the seller. There maybe a clause in the contract or the PIF relating to this.
Caveat- I am not a solicitor and you should take independent legal advice.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 09-Aug-16 18:10:31

I doubt there is anything you can do. Extensions are very easy to get permission on currently. Bad luck that you don't like it, unfortunately.

JT05 Tue 09-Aug-16 18:22:36

On second thoughts if it was under permitted development rules the neighbours may not have told anybody. No planning application would have been required.

PandasRock Tue 09-Aug-16 18:28:56

OP says they had full planning permission though, so guess there were plans.

MimsyPimsy Tue 09-Aug-16 18:32:23

Could you do a similar extension, so you would look out onto nice views again? Or is that totally off the wall?

Gazelda Tue 09-Aug-16 18:39:54

You had the chance to pull out. You had the opportunity to ask to see the plans. You chose to go ahead. i think that you are stuck situation, sadly.

I guess the only party you could have realistically expected to highlight this issue to you is your solicitor - had he/she had searches back at the point you made the discovery? Or the sellers questionnaire?

wowfudge Tue 09-Aug-16 22:55:23

If your solicitor didn't report on this to you and there was a planning application then the searches haven't been as thorough as you would expect.

I checked for this kind of thing myself when we were buying.

PennyAsset Wed 10-Aug-16 07:34:01

OP - what are you opting to achieve? Monetary compensation?

LIZS Wed 10-Aug-16 07:40:10

If you only bought a few months ago the plans would have already been lodged with the council (even within permitted development) so available for view and appear on searches, You didn't have to go through with the purchase once you knew but chose to. Unless someone actively lied you have no recourse.

panegyricS1 Wed 10-Aug-16 08:03:17

I'd go back to the solicitor and ask why it didn't come up during the conveyencing. It obviously did for the previous buyers!

YelloDraw Wed 10-Aug-16 09:19:22

I'd go back to the solicitor and ask why it didn't come up during the conveyencing. It obviously did for the previous buyers!


The pack normally asks about is the vendor aware of any planned extensions to neighboring properties. If they answered no they were lying fuckers... but it should have come up in the searches too.

MrsHulk Wed 10-Aug-16 09:52:54

If your solicitor actuall got something wrong, then you could seek compensation from them. However any damages from the solicitor would be reduced to reflect your contributory negligence: you knew about the extension and chose to go ahead. The fact that you would have pulled out if you'd known earlier, or if the solicitor had very expressly drawn your attention to the impact, may mean you get some damages but the courts take a very dim view of people who buy properties then get buyer's remorse. Ultimately you made your own mind up, and you knew about the extension.

The fact that you'd spent money on searches etc is irrelevant - that's the way the property system in England works, you spend money on searches etc but until you exchange contracts anybody can pull out for any reason.

You might possibly have a claim against the estate agent if you can prove they were lying - take a look at the estate agent ombudsman website. Estate agents cannot outright lie about properties (or at least some aspects of properties). However again, you decided to proceed anyway which would reduce any damages.

snowspider Wed 10-Aug-16 18:58:22

Unfortunately it sounds ike you found out about the proposed extension before exchange of contracts, via the estate agents. It is up to the buyer to exercise due diligence so you could have made further written enquiries at that point and mitigated your losses. It is expected that you should attempt to mitigate losses. Also it is questionable whether there is a loss in financial terms as the extension may well not reduce the value of your purchase and it would seem that even if you had received more information about the extension you still wouldn't have withdrawn from the purchase, this latter is important in legal terms.

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