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Will this be a problem(3 Posts)
Bit of a long one
I have got a buyer for my house.
Everything is progressing but I want to know if the mortgage companies surveyor will think if this situation is a problem and could hold up the sale.
When we bought the place 2 decades + ago it was a house with a separate brick built garage and stable block.
We have in all the time we have been here never used either section as a garage or stable mainly because the garage is so narrow it won’t fit a modern car in and if you did get a car in you would have to back it out in order to exit the vehicle and we have never owned a horse.
About 6 years ago we decided to completely renovate and redesign the house and convert the garage and stable into a 1 bed annex.
I rang the local planning department who said as long as we had never used the place for its intended purposes in the last X number of years (can’t remember how many but I know it was less than we had been here) then it would be fine to convert without planning. I did make them aware we live in a conservation area.
Because I wanted to use it officially as living space (I thought it would make an ideal Airbnb) I asked about making it official and was directed to an online form which when I started to fill it in was asking things about ground quality if building on a site of a former petrol station and then it went on about how many covers the restaurant had and there was nothing about a private residential property
I did call back a few times (made difficult because you could only call in a certain 2 hour time slot each week (if they were engaged then you had to wait another week) to find out if there was an alternative form but was again and again directed to the same online form.
We redesigned the garage and stable block. I think we had building regs on the work done. Because we had the building regs guy out so often for other things I don’t think I would have not have him come out for the work that was being done in the garage and stable.
Everything was done except for the painting and putting flooring down. At this point we had to send the builders home because Dh became very very ill and was diagnosed with a terminal illness so everything went out of the window with regards to painting and decorating and paperwork (if I needed it)
6 years later we have come to sell the house and have described the building as an annex with a gym, games room with kitchenette (no cooker or oven) and a shower room. We have had dcs friends over to stay in it and used it for parties etc and it has been very handy. Never got round to doing Airbnb
From the road it still looks like a garage with a garage door on. Nothing has been added to the building in terms of square footage that wasn’t there since the 30’s
Will not having permissions etc be a problem when we sell.
No one is overlooked by the building. I read that if no one has objected in 2 years it is considered as being ok.
Do you think the buyers mortgage company will have a problem with this.
Fully realise I should have been on this sooner but with what we have been through in the last 6 years everyone is surprised we all haven’t had a breakdown although I think one more problem might be the straw that has us all walking for the door and not looking back.
I think at the very least it's a change of use and I don't think the fact YOU didn't use it as a garage is relevant. Plus to make it a room as you have would definitely require building regs, both of which you can apply for retrospectively but may take time. But really this is a question for your solicitor.
It was the fact that we had never used it as a garage and stable that the planning guy honed in on.
I really did try at the beginning to get change of use but I really struggled answering questions on the on line form as I wasn’t building anything and it wasn’t a commercial premises.
Even if we sell it as garage and stable I don’t think it is going to impact anything as the buyers have their own ideas for what they want to use it for.