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Are we nightmare buyers?

(59 Posts)
Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 08:57:54

We had an offer accepted on a 4 bed property in February. Arranged a homebuyers report and got the mortgage offer quite quickly.

There isn't a chain so I thought we'd move quite quickly and in the documentation requested a completion day of 10th April which would have been 10 weeks.

However... the homebuyers report came back with some issues about the timber frame and also that the 2 additional bedroom and kitchen are extensions to the original property and we need to be certain there is planning permission and building regs for both.

There isn't! I spoke to a second surveyor and he advised asking the sellers to get retrospective building consent and to speak to the building company that did some work on the house to check some details rather than paying him more for an additional building survey.

I did had he suggested but the buyers have stated they cannot afford to get retrospective consent and the building firm is no longer trading.

I have gone back to the original surveyor to ask for a re valuation as we are now buying a 2 bedroom property with attic rooms that will likely need work to comply with building regs and I've asked the second surveyor to do a full building survey, a valuation and an indication of the cost of works.

We will then need to reduce our offer.

I'm not playing games and really want the property but there is now more work than we thought and we're not buying the 4 bedroom house that we thought. It can be made so but at a cost.

I keep reading threads on here about nightmare buyers. Please tell me I'm
not one of these?

I'm doing everything I can to move everything along as quick as possible.

RNBrie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:00:22

You're not being a nightmare buyer. They are selling a nightmare. Sorry op.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Fri 14-Apr-17 09:02:55

No, they have failed to secure basic permission for the work. Their fault not yours and they will know it.

DaisyChainsForever Fri 14-Apr-17 09:03:17

They are in the wrong for not getting permission before the work was carried out and for not wanting to pay for retrospective planning now. If you pull out of the sale this will be bought up with whoever does try and buy it in the future.. you've done nothing wrong.. in fact you're being very patient in my eyes!

Glossolalia Fri 14-Apr-17 09:05:23

No, they are nightmare sellers!

They have been dishonest, why did they not tell you it was a two bed? I would be furious, OP. And yes, definitely dropping my offer.

hmcAsWas Fri 14-Apr-17 09:05:25

Goodness, no you are not. You need to protect yourself in this scenario

JennyOnAPlate Fri 14-Apr-17 09:05:35

No you're not op. You would be a fool to buy without the planning consent.

Bluebellwoods123 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:05:46

Definitely not a nightmare buyer, you need to make sure everything is ok before you buy the house or get a substantial reduction in price.

Rainbowshine Fri 14-Apr-17 09:05:59

The best thing a seller can do other than make their house presentable is to get all the relevant paperwork ready before putting it on the market.

When we sold our last house we had a pack of documents- planning permission, building regs, boiler warranty etc.

If they've failed to get their ducks in a row that's their problem to resolve, no sensible solicitor would let this past for any buyer, not just you.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Fri 14-Apr-17 09:07:04

Agree they are nightmare sellers

Frazzled2207 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:08:44

Not a nightmare buyer at all.
They are being unreasonable.
It's very naive of them to think they can sell easily without the consent.
If you still really want the house you need an agent to explain to them that sorting this is non-negotiable whoever they are selling to. Or dropping the price accordingly.

Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:09:47

Thank you. I'm trying my best to be patient. When we offered we knew it needed cosmetic work to move into it but this just makes the whole thing a bigger deal. I keep thinking we must be mad but it has so much potential and the garden space is amazing.

It's just taking so long and I didn't want them to think we were being awkward just to reduce the price.

The EA did try to say it was originally on the market for more and was then reduced and then we reduced again with our offer. Almost as if to say well you're getting it cheaper than they originally wanted to sell it for. But I had to remind her that was when we thought we were buying a 4 bedroom property that just needed a lick of paint (and some!!!).

namechangedtoday15 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:15:14

No, you're not a nightmare but its an issue your solicitor needs to raise with their solicitor. Its not something you need to deal with. The vendors need to understand that your mortgage offer was presumably conditional upon the property having all the necessary permissions - and unless a cash buyer comes along who doesn't need a mortgage - then every other purchaser is going to be in the same position.

Their solicitor needs to make it clear that if the house needs planning permission they get it and definitely get building regs sign off so you know the work is safe.

Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:16:17

They indicated on the second viewing (after we'd made our offer) that the bedrooms were extensions but had been done by the previous owner some twenty years previous and that they'd taken out indemnity. And during this viewing stated that our surveyor was concerned about the attic bedrooms as the stairs are narrow.

When I spoke to the EA they said 'oh you can just take out indemnity'. Erm no my children will have to sleep in those bedrooms and they may not be fire safe!

We are happy to do the work to put it right but not in top of the current offer as that was for 4 beds not 2.

The EA have said the sellers have concede Ltd they are selling a 2 bed property and it has been in the market for years so if they don't accept a reduced offer from us they'll have to put it back in the market at a reduced price and start the whole then again. They're separating so are keen to move so I'm hoping it'll all work out.

It'll fall down for us though if they won't move on price.

wowfudge Fri 14-Apr-17 09:18:06

You are not a nightmare buyer, but some of this may be academic: when was the house extended? If more than four years have passed then the council can't enforce the requirement to obtain planning permission. The sellers could apply for a certificate of lawful development to give you peace of mind.

It's entirely possible the house was extended before building regs came in. The issue with trying to resolve this retrospectively is that the regs have changed so what may well have been fine at the time the work was carried out may not be up to current regs. The sellers can provide an indemnity in respect of the building regs. It's up to you how you proceed, but do not contact building control at the council and give them the address or the vendors will not be able to get an indemnity for you.

If the surveyor found no issues with the extension then there could be no major cause for concern.

strawberrypenguin Fri 14-Apr-17 09:19:21

You don't sound like a nightmare buyer to me but the house you are buying sounds like one!
To be honest I'd be seriously considering pulling out and finding somewhere else

Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:21:07

Wowfudge the planning isn't an issue as it is more than 4 years ago. It's the building regs that are which doesn't have a time limit and that's the bit we need to get sorted.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:21:52

You don't need planning permission if they were done that long ago but you need some assurance in terms of the works. Its unlikely to conform to current building regs now (rules have changed) so that means they probably can't get current building regs sign off without undertaking significant works. If you're prepared to do the works, fine, but be sure you know what you will need to do and the cost before you proceed. And then if they don't accept you're reduced offer, you walk.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:23:29

Cross posts - and your offer, not you're!

Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:24:29

Namechange that's where we're at at the moment establishing what the works might cost.

It has been mentioned that retrospective consent would look at the extensions as they were done at the time rather than current regs but as the seller can't pay for that it makes more sense for us to work out how we move forward under today's regs.

If they won't move on price we'll have no option but to pull out.

Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:26:22

Strawberry the house has so much potential and the outside space is more than you could usually get on this area so for now it's with preserving although I do think we're mad sometimes.

Trollspoopglitter Fri 14-Apr-17 09:28:08

retrospective building consent doesnt need to comply to current building regulations does it? Hence why it's called retrospective?

Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:29:29

Wowfudge in reply to your message about the sellers indemnifying is. I think it's this that makes me feel like a nightmare buyer.

If we accepted indemnity we could move forward but it doesn't feel right. No one has been able to say to us as it was all done so long ago it would now pass. All the professionals we are dealing with.. solicitors, surveyors have stated it needs reflecting as a 2 bed not 4 bed. But part of me has wondered if we've made too big a deal if it all. Hence my post.

Koala2 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:30:41

I agree you need to get this sorted. However if at the time the extension had been built it had been signed off to building regs, it still wouldn't meet current standards. So I guess you may need to consider what's reasonable when reducing your offer. Presumably not the full cost of brining it up to current standards. But perhaps addressing any safety issues, and asking for an indemnity so that you don't have any onward sale issues when you come to sell in the future. Good luck sorting it out.

Elouie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:31:29

Trolls you may be right. The sellers offered us £1k reduction in completion so we could get retrospective but what if we can't?

And if the sellers don't get it, the fact it might pass, is irrelevant isn't it? Without it it's a 2 bedroom house.

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