An ongoing saga, but basically currently in the process of purchasing a property with a significant two storey side/single storey rear extension, which we have just found out has no building regulations completion certificate.
Vendors solicitors trying to fob us off with useless indemnity insurance and whilst I am preparing to walk away, I am considering one final option if it is achievable.
I can get some confidence as to the structural safety of the extensions through a full structural survey and gas and electric surveys. However, bar a retrospective building regs application, I don't think I can get a survey that checks the foundations. Is there any sort of indemnity insurance that can cover the extension in case of subsidance as a result of poor building works? Also, would such insurance, along with favourable surveys mentioned above, be enough for us to benefit from full building insurance? Any advice gratefully received.
Until this whole issue came to light, the house was a good size for our budget in an area near the transport links we need for work and nursery. It was the best property on the market at the time. It would have hurt to walk away if all the relevant regs had been in place. As it stands, it is a risk, so is no longer as attractive to us. However, it's worth us considering all options before walking away. But I absolutely take your point.
The only obvious way to check the foundations is for excavation to take place around the foundations. I would assume the vendor would not agree to this.
What plans were drawn up for the foundations? Who decided on depth? What professional advice was taken at the time?
Building regs inspections are useless these days anyway and you need a very comprehensive structural survey (by a Structural Engineer if possible) to look at possible faults and design quality. Someone who knows the area and soil conditions. Another issue could also be how the extension is joined to the existing building. This could be a problem area if the design is incorrect.
To be honest - this house was probably too good to be true at the price. Walk away and don’t throw good money after bad. It seems like a massive risk to an insurance company so the vendor may not be able to cover the liability anyway. Find somewhere without issues.
Not sure you can get indemnity insurance having established there are no buildings control certificate. It should have been inspected while under construction. The vendor will need to apply for retrospective sign off either via the council or privately. Even if you walk away it will be an issue for the next potential buyer.
Did they have proper structural engineer calculations when they built it? I would be worried that they just threw it up if they couldn’t be bothered to get building control sign off. I’d probably steer well clear.