Can an EA market this property?(12 Posts)
I looked at a house and wanted to put an offer on it, but something made me suspicious.
The house used to be a semi, but the owner built another house right next to it, making it into a mid-terrace. It's the mid-terrace that's for sale.
I wanted to put an offer on it, but something about the EA made me suspicious, so I checked with land registry, and the only record is for the original semi.
The new end terrace bit isn't registered and the land split between the two isn't listed, so basically, you can't currently know what you're actually buying.
Is it legal to market this house like this? How easy is it to register the two houses? Also, how do I find out if there is full planning permission?
The EA said that the owner is planning to sort out the land registry once he has an offer. I told him that I couldn't see anyone putting in an offer when they don't know what they're buying!
The Local Planning Authority has full details of planning applications on line. As long as you know which authority it is, you can search by putting in the address. All the drawings and approvals will be there. My guess is that the "new" dwelling is an extension. Someone in our village bought a pub. Quite a small one. They extended it, then extended it again. Then they got planning permission to split the extension from the original pub. Sold the pub - it had closed in the meantime. They continued to live in the extension - a semi. They now have planning permission to split the semi. They have retired and are downsizing to half the semi. Possibly the middle section will be sold but they may sell the outer section! I don't know, but it is effectively a terrace.
Therefore, I would expect this to at least be registered as a separate dwelling. Unless it is, I would walk away. In effect you would be co-owner of a house! The Agent should not have agreed to market it, in my view, until it was registered as a dwelling and the land/garden boundary defined. Someone bought a house in our village thinking the garden was long, but the vendor owned the house next door and kept half the garden for their own house making that garden L shaped and the other garden truncated.
Walk away if it does not get sorted!
I would think he would combine the registering of the new property with the conveyancing when he sells it. I imagine that it is pretty straightforward to register a new property with the LR.
You can search your local council website to see if there is planning. If you google X council planning applications, it should come up. You might need to look for "property search" as some areas will only search planning applications if you have the planning reference - property search will let you search for individual houses etc.
You should also make sure that the house has an NHBC warranty (or similar, AFAIK there are 2 or 3 companies that warranty new houses now) and that it has its own gas/electric supply.
Hope this helps.
I'd walk away from any house where there are doubts like this , it could end up a nightmare for you .
Thanks. I checked with the planning department.....Yes it had planning but he hadn't told them he'd built it and they'd assumed he hadn't because the permission ran out last year. But he did build it before the planning permission ran out, so they reckon that side of things is fine.
The EA is well aware of the situation, but not telling people when they look around. Lovely!
Looking at the planning objections, it seems the next door neighbour (who used to live in a semi, and now technically owns an end terrace) was not happy and objected.
So his planning is ok, what about passing building regs?
It sounds like a complicated house to buy - your solicitor will have to do extra checks to ensure the land registration is all sorted, you'll have to get someone to check gas and electricity supply. It won't have its own address yet either.
I wouldn't want to be mid-terrace next to the people who objected to the third house being buily.
How would I check about building regs?
It's a good price for the area, but probably because of all this!
No EA checks the Land Registry details of anything they sell on behalf of a vendor. It isn't their job. They are just the vendor's sales agent. That is what a buyer's solicitor does.
Do not contact the local council over the building regs - if the property hasn't been signed off by building control the vendor can provide an indemnity to the buyer. If you contact the council and make them aware of this building and building control haven't signed off on it, no indemnity can be provided. It isn't your job as a potential buyer to get involved - the vendor has to deal with it to the satisfaction of his buyer.
Yes but - if it contravenes building regs then it is a problem! Indemnity is worth little in some cases. Also registering at time of sale is ok but not if the garden suddenly gets chopped off or there are other issues that suddenly appear. I think the neighbour complaining would be justified. They may have lost value.
Not sure I would pursue this unless it was the house of my dreams? Is it?
You will probably end up with a huge lawyers bill for extensive "non-standard conveyancing" work. Not that I've been there/done that. I'd never enter into a transaction where things weren't clear again.
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