building regulations question

50
Found 28th Mar
Hi all,



Looking to purchase a new home however the self-contained annex at the
back has a toilet in it. The Annex itself was exempt from pp but because
it has a toilet in it solicitor is saying would need indemnity
insurance against it for lack of building regs, and also as it is in
Breach of restrictive covenants.



Has anyone had similar issues before with build regs and indemnity
insurance? It's a first buy for me so I am sure whether this will be a
problem for me during ownership and/or when I come to sell it.



Thanks
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Indemnity insurance is usually quite cheap and a one off expense.
Yes but when I come to sell the house, will the next buyer be happy with indemnity insurance? who knows ...
Also, can the council come and rip the toilet out or even knock the building down? who knows ....
Yes, I have. If they cowboyed an extension, there may well be more to this property than a single issue. Be guided by your solicitor. A survey would be a very good idea.

Buildings insurance can be a problem now you know about this. You have to declare it under the general principle of informing them of material facts.

Remember, if you don't get the indemnity and you buy it, the council can instruct you to knock it down. End of. At the very least, the inspector may want holes dug to look at foundations. If they conclude the foundations are unsound, you have a big problem.

Unless the seller gets very lucky or misleads buyers, (s)he will have to fix this problem so work with them if its a property you really want.
thanks ccnp.

It's not a cowboyed extension I'd say. Similar look and feel to this ...

33530675-zMF1k.jpg
Nice!

I though it was attached to the house. My question (and the inspectors) will very much centre on what the soil pipework is attached to out in the garden.

Looks newish and has electric power so I am guessing it isn't compliant with that aspect of building regs either. More trouble for the seller.

My approach would be to look for a Building Surveyor to walk around with me and tell me what needs doing. I wouldn't want a report. Mine charges £125ph (Leamington Spa) for odd jobs inc travel time.

Sounds like a house worth pursuing. The seller should have the same problem with every buyer. Your solicitor probably found it through the standard enquiries form. Helping the seller out may be to your advantage.
Well we are quite close to exchange (1-2 weeks away) so this has just come up and I didnt get a cbuilding survey done, having researched online and lots of people sayingits not worth the money.

I'd ask details for your building surveyor but I'm near Heathrow and travel time along woulud be £300

I am a bit bamboozled at this point ....
My daughter was recommended that she take out an indemnity insurance due to not having building regulations on an extension, in the end she was told to contact the mortgage company to see if it was ok to proceed and they said yes but be it on her head if the council come knocking however it was done many years back so that helped her. Can't you ask the seller to remove the toilet and block the waste off if that's all that's stopping the purchase either way I think it's the covanent that's the issue here.
My solicitors got my sellers to buy my indemnity insurance, cost them £33 although that was just for some doors/windows.
caverncity43 m ago

My daughter was recommended that she take out an indemnity insurance due …My daughter was recommended that she take out an indemnity insurance due to not having building regulations on an extension, in the end she was told to contact the mortgage company to see if it was ok to proceed and they said yes but be it on her head if the council come knocking however it was done many years back so that helped her. Can't you ask the seller to remove the toilet and block the waste off if that's all that's stopping the purchase either way I think it's the covanent that's the issue here.



I could (and have thought about that) but I do need a toilet in there and that's one of things that attracted me to the property.
I've been told the need for BR only lasts for 5 years. So, if the work was done over 5 years ago, BR is not required. Is that true ? (couldnt find anything on the net)
Cyrus9 m ago

I could (and have thought about that) but I do need a toilet in there and …I could (and have thought about that) but I do need a toilet in there and that's one of things that attracted me to the property.


Nothing wrong putting it back after purchase but when you come to resell you may have to remove it again. Ask seller to remove and blank the waste off and let it show on the papers it's been done so as not to involve building regulations. When you move in put it back, toilets are cheap. Ask your solicitor if he removes the toilet will it help in speeding up the progress, as in no need for paperwork or a visit from the council.
Cyrus12 m ago

I've been told the need for BR only lasts for 5 years. So, if the work was …I've been told the need for BR only lasts for 5 years. So, if the work was done over 5 years ago, BR is not required. Is that true ? (couldnt find anything on the net)


Yes that's very true as it happened with my daughter, the council told her as five years has gone and no other complaints from say neighbours then nothing to worry about.
caverncity46 m ago

Yes that's very true as it happened with my daughter, the council told her …Yes that's very true as it happened with my daughter, the council told her as five years has gone and no other complaints from say neighbours then nothing to worry about.



I couldnt find a reference to the 5 year rule. Do you know where I can find this?
Cyrus4 m ago

I couldnt find a reference to the 5 year rule. Do you know where I can …I couldnt find a reference to the 5 year rule. Do you know where I can find this?


My local council told my daughter this
Cyrus10 m ago

I couldnt find a reference to the 5 year rule. Do you know where I can …I couldnt find a reference to the 5 year rule. Do you know where I can find this?


urbanistarchitecture.co.uk/the…nt/

It's actually 4 years
I read that but it doesnt seem to apply, as this outbuilding was built in 2016 ...

You can apply for Certificate of Lawfulness if you can demonstrate that:

  • There has been a continuous use of land or buildings (other than a dwelling) for more than 10 years.
  • A condition or limitation on a planning permission has not been complied with for more than 10 years.
  • Building or other operations have been completed for more than 4 years.
  • A building (not land) has been used as a dwelling house (house or flat) for more than 4 years.
My solicitor said BR will never be "waived" as per any rule
Cyrus56 m ago

My solicitor said BR will never be "waived" as per any rule


building regulations are there to ensure that buildings are safe structurally and safe for the occupants. it can therefore never be waived.

just because a building has managed to stand upright even though it is not safe, does not mean that it won't fall down one day or just because no one has been injured because of the bad design of the building, it doesn't mean that it is safe.
mutley156 m ago

building regulations are there to ensure that buildings are safe …building regulations are there to ensure that buildings are safe structurally and safe for the occupants. it can therefore never be waived. just because a building has managed to stand upright even though it is not safe, does not mean that it won't fall down one day or just because no one has been injured because of the bad design of the building, it doesn't mean that it is safe.



Good points. So how to get around the BR without opening a can of worms with council, and avoiding the indemnity insurance?
Cyrus21 m ago

Good points. So how to get around the BR without opening a can of worms …Good points. So how to get around the BR without opening a can of worms with council, and avoiding the indemnity insurance?


Building regulations are there for the protection of the general public as well as the occupants. Safety assurance from building regulations approval also includes safety to health, not just structural. I asked my husband why an annexe would need building regulation for the toilet, and he says it is to do with extraction.

i googled building regulations on installing a toilet and got this, which you may find useful

heatandplumb.com/blo…et/

there is no getting around getting building regulation approval, you could bite the bullet and look into getting building regulation approval after purchase.
Edited by: "mutley1" 28th Mar
mutley125 m ago

you could bite the bullet and look into getting building regulation …you could bite the bullet and look into getting building regulation approval after purchase.


Yes that will likely have to be the case
How about the council tax issue, I once looked at a property with a non attached annex, it was all legit mind, but classed as a separate dwelling, and had a Band A council tax to pay every year, on top of the houses D...I walked away!
Cyrus18 m ago

Yes that will likely have to be the case


or you could just keep quiet and worry about it when you sell the house later on, by which time you may have won the lottery so it no longer becomes an issue

i have never had to take out indemnity insurance when purchasing a property but i found this when i googled indemnity insurance for lack of building regulations, which you may find helpful. apparently mum's the word.

fridaysmove.com/con…917
ceres1 m ago

Walk away. If you won't take the professional advice of your conveyancing …Walk away. If you won't take the professional advice of your conveyancing solicitor and accept an indemnity policy, then it's not the house for you.



Lol every house will have something. I'll be walking away from everything
Apart from your solicitor advising you need that you need indemnity insurance, I don’t understand why you haven’t had the house surveyed, after all it’s the biggest purchase you’ll ever make and an expensive mistake if there are any problems. The surveyor may also have been able to help in clarifying the situation with the installation of the toilet and drains perhaps?
If you need to exchange in 1-2 weeks, get indemnity insurance.

If not, get a proper survey done. You are paying for this outbuilding, but you have no idea if it's fit for purpose. If its not, you don't want to buy this house. Or you want the seller to purchase your insurance. Or you want them to rectify any issues. Or you want a price drop as you need to invest to meet building regs.

As a buyer you have the power, but you need a report to use that power. This problem's not going away for the seller - it will crop up again in you won't buy, so they will still want to sell to you if possible.

What's the worse that can go wrong if you do nothing? The outbuilding subsides, and needs rebuilding. Are you prepared to take that risk?
Toptrumpet8 h, 6 m ago

Apart from your solicitor advising you need that you need indemnity …Apart from your solicitor advising you need that you need indemnity insurance, I don’t understand why you haven’t had the house surveyed, after all it’s the biggest purchase you’ll ever make and an expensive mistake if there are any problems. The surveyor may also have been able to help in clarifying the situation with the installation of the toilet and drains perhaps?



I read a lot online saying surveys are not worth it (chipped tile, uneven driveway, etc). Also although I've been looking for a RICS accredted surveyors, they vary so much in what they do and say I just havent found someone confident (trusting!). Would you happen to have someone who is reliable ? Thanks
eayragt3 h, 1 m ago

If you need to exchange in 1-2 weeks, get indemnity insurance.If not, get …If you need to exchange in 1-2 weeks, get indemnity insurance.If not, get a proper survey done. You are paying for this outbuilding, but you have no idea if it's fit for purpose. If its not, you don't want to buy this house. Or you want the seller to purchase your insurance. Or you want them to rectify any issues. Or you want a price drop as you need to invest to meet building regs.As a buyer you have the power, but you need a report to use that power. This problem's not going away for the seller - it will crop up again in you won't buy, so they will still want to sell to you if possible.What's the worse that can go wrong if you do nothing? The outbuilding subsides, and needs rebuilding. Are you prepared to take that risk?



all good points. I want no hassle with the house naturally. I will try get a survey done. Happy to take any recommendations
The vendor should pay for the indemnity insurance - this will crop up with any buyer they have and the cost is low. Their solicitor should advise them to pay this cost.

Remember that planning and building regs are two different things.
yes vendor is paying
Just need to find a RICS surveyor who can do the building survey now ...
Sorry, I can’t recommend a surveyor or company to use, but I would have thought asking friends and family for recommendations would prove fruitful. Failing that as all surveyors are accredited just use a local one. It’s just for peace of mind, it’s the biggest purchase you’re ever going to make and there’s no refund policy or guarantee to fall back on. I’ve always had surveys done and often used their content as bargaining tools, for example if the chimney stack needed repointing, tiles were missing off the roof etc then I’d trying to renogiate my offer price to take into consideration the cost to get them fixed or asked the seller to get it fixed before completion.
Some things such such as subsidence or cracks higher up the property are not easy to spot by the untrained eye but these things are second nature to a surveyor, they’ll give the whole property a good going over rather than an untrained eye doing a quick 15 minute viewing seeing the room sizes and if the furniture will fit.
I’m not trying to frighten you into getting one done it’s just that for a small outlay on a huge purchase it seems logical. Obviously a full survey is completely different to a basic homebuyers report and the difference in price will reflect that.
I want to get it done but cannot find anyone trustable to do it.
I have asked friends and family but have had no luck
You’re engaging the surveyor and he’ll be working on your behalf and his job is to point out any defects or problems you might encounter if you purchase the property.
I can’t see why you wouldn’t trust a professional to do such a job. After all when your car needs servicing/mending do you take it to the garage and ask to see the mechanics’ qualifications and references or do you just leave the keys with them?
caverncity18 h, 42 m ago

Yes that's very true as it happened with my daughter, the council told her …Yes that's very true as it happened with my daughter, the council told her as five years has gone and no other complaints from say neighbours then nothing to worry about.



Not feeling convinced about this without a document in my hand. In 2001, I did an extension and didn't know much about BRs so I never got a completion certificate. Do you have a reference source for this statement please? Is it local to yoru council?

In 2010 I had more work done and the new BR Inspector highlighted this omission plus lack of fire provisions (the extension connected the house and garage).

After researching it, I found myself in the OP Buyers situation and had to get the work completed to get the certificate. Either the Council took me for a ride or the 5 years rule is not universal (or maybe is not true).

I do know that when I buy a property, I now always ask for the BR certificate on any extension or building work. Lack of a BR completion certificate has caused me to walk away from properties on the advice of solicitor and surveyor unless I am prepared to rebuild/rework.
Cyrus53 m ago

I want to get it done but cannot find anyone trustable to do it.I have …I want to get it done but cannot find anyone trustable to do it.I have asked friends and family but have had no luck


my husband is a chartered surveyor but he works in valuing the cost of building commercial properties and has no professional experience in domestic building surveying. however all chartered surveyors have to be professionally trained and qualified so just instruct a qualified surveyor and you will be fine.
mutley11 h, 12 m ago

my husband is a chartered surveyor but he works in valuing the cost of …my husband is a chartered surveyor but he works in valuing the cost of building commercial properties and has no professional experience in domestic building surveying. however all chartered surveyors have to be professionally trained and qualified so just instruct a qualified surveyor and you will be fine.



Thanks. Would he happen to know anyone that he would recommend? From I can see, all surveyors are competent but not all are thorough.
Cyrus45 m ago

Thanks. Would he happen to know anyone that he would recommend? From I can …Thanks. Would he happen to know anyone that he would recommend? From I can see, all surveyors are competent but not all are thorough.


like any profession, there will be very good people and not so good people, if you look at doctors for example, some will be very good and experienced, while others are not so great, but they all do a decent job, otherwise they won't be able to stay in the profession.

where are you located as it is best to instruct a local surveyor i would guess as their fees will be cheaper if they are nearer to you and so don't have to travel long distances to get to you.

my husband works in london so he only knows surveyors in london. is the house you are buying in london?

if it was me, i would call around and ask for quotes then go with the cheapest quote. how thorough you want the surveyor to be will depend on what type of survey you want to pay for. there is the basic survey which tells you a decent amount of information but doesn't go into extreme depth. then there is the very detailed one which reports back in more detail.

then there is also the structural survey, which you can do if you are concerned about any structural issue for the building. structural surveyors are different to your building surveyor as they have more in depth knowledge of building structures than a building surveyor. you would instruct a structural surveyor if you wanted cracks investigated for example.

if i were you, i would call around and explain your situation with the toilet to the surveyor and ask if he can help with this if you were to instruct him to carry out the survey.
If I were you, i would call around and explain your situation with the toilet to the surveyor and ask if he can help with this if you were to instruct him to carry out the survey.

as @mutley1 suggests, use their knowledge to sort it all out
thanks. Have done exactly that and am awaiting confirmation from two surveyors (price difference of £250 for what seems to be the same thing!)
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