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Need to sell house with no building regs

(13 Posts)
LJH79 Sat 03-Jun-17 22:08:23

Help! We knocked down a structural wall 3 years ago and at the time the builder talked us out of building regs a bit as he didn't have the time etc to wait for them to come out and inspect but he took all the photos etc for us in case we needed them. My husband no longer has the photos on his phone and we now need to sell. Not sure whether we try and apply retrospectively or whether we wait for solicitor to pick it up and pay for the indemnity policy. Does anyone have experience of this? If we all applied retrospectively how would they inspect it now we don't have the photos. How will they know a steel lintel went in etc? Any advice or help is appreciated. Thanks

TheFaerieQueene Sat 03-Jun-17 22:16:27

It is likely that a buyer won't be able to get a mortgage on a house without sign off for structural work, so you house value is being severely diminished by not having the paperwork. You need to speak to your council's building control department.

Biggreygoose Sat 03-Jun-17 22:21:27

Did you have structural calcs done and do you have copies?

It is likely that building control will need to visually inspect the steel to confirm size and class. In this case that will mean opening up the wall.

Ring building control for advice. This is not an uncommon problem and they will be able to help.

LIZS Sat 03-Jun-17 22:26:25

You might be able to get an indemnity policy but not if you contact the council first. Tbh as it s so likely to come up on a survey as a query and the work is recent it would be worth the reassurance of retrospective approval. Might delay your marketing the property though.

Mumblebeebee Sat 03-Jun-17 22:34:35

It's not a huge concern, please don't worry. My friend has just sold her house without building regulations. For a lintel put into a retaining wall, again no photos.

This will of course be picked up by the Byers solicitor. You should then offer to pay the indemnity insurance which came to under £200. The sale I'm referring wasn't held up at all.

As previous poster says Do not contact the council as you can't buy one after contact.

Best wishes

Mumblebeebee Sat 03-Jun-17 22:44:51

If you are going to apply retrospectively there are a few issues.

As you don't have photos the plaster will need to be removed in various places to allow inspection. You'll likely have to submit structural calculations if a beam was installed.

The work may not now be up to current regulations, it may have been when it was completed but that will not be taken into account. Fire regulations etc may have changed.

If the work isn't up to current regulations, you'll have to bring it in line to get it signed off. For example it could mean stripping beams and putting up fire board then re plastering.

If I were you I'd hold tight and offer to pay the indemnity insurance when the time arises.

wheresmyphone Sat 03-Jun-17 23:36:31

You can contact council in most areas on an no names basis.

Yes, you can get an indemnity but that will put off some buyers and thus for that reason you may get a reduced sale price. Usually easier to sort it yourself.

LJH79 Sun 04-Jun-17 06:12:23

Thanks for all the responses. Might try contact on a no name basis and see what they say. If not think will just sit tight and see what happens and think about indemnity insurance in the mean time. Thanks all.

Syc4moreTrees Mon 05-Jun-17 11:24:47

You can get retrospective approval, this happened when my DB sold last year, the inspector just put a tiny hole in the ceiling the check there was a beam and signed it all off. Simples. If i was buying I wouldn't accept an indemnity policy for a removal of a wall where there may or may not be a beam (even though you are saying there is)

londonloves Mon 05-Jun-17 11:38:13

We are just about to complete on a place that has no building regs approval for extension and chimney breast removal. Maybe we are mad but the seller has paid for the indemnity insurance and I feel pretty sure the house won't fall down. Admittedly at 23 weeks pregnant I'm more interested in having a roof over our heads... so maybe look for separate pregnant buyers ;-)

kingjofferyworksintescos Mon 05-Jun-17 12:17:43

I would try and seek building regulations approval before marketing it , get whatever work that is needed out the way and a clean house ready to market . This way you are much more likely to get a cleaner straightforward sale .

If you go ahead without building approval and find a buyer you may have to offer indemnity insurance to them , they could easily be put off the purchase and then you are stuck with putting it back on the market again which doesn't always look good to perspective purchasers

I have recently pulled out of purchasing a property for exactly this reason - I develop property but it's often much harder putting someone's previously half done work right than starting your own work properly from scratch

LadyinCement Mon 05-Jun-17 13:37:01

Agree thoroughly with Kingjoffery.

Had this very situation and upon inspection by buildings control, the steel lintel had been put in upside down and was not long enough.

Get a buildings surveyor to look at your house and give their opinion. If all is ok then buildings control can come in and sign it off. If not, then you know work needs to be done. You don't want to risk losing a sale if a problem is uncovered later down the line.

Syc4moreTrees Mon 05-Jun-17 16:38:05

I think apart from anything else you would want to avoid anything that would be potentially used against you to negotiate a reduction in price if it was discover (which it will be) further on in the process. Best to just get it sorted.

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