Conservatory - No buildings regulation approval

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Coffin, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Coffin

    Coffin
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    Hello

    I purchased a house in May 2008. It came with a conservatory extension, which was built circa 2004. The property itself was built from new in 1995

    I was provided with approved planning permission for the conservatory, which I have obviously passed on to my solicitors. The planning permission also appears on the local council website as 'decided'

    After my property purchase completed, I was provided with regulation approval documents relating to double glazing windows, which were fitted at the same time the conservatory was installed

    I am now selling the property and the buyers solicitors have said:

    "We have provided the planning documentation you have supplied in relation to the conservatory. Please can you let me have the building regulation approval and completion certificate for the conservatory."

    I do not have these docs nor was I issued them. I've done a search on the 'building control' section of my local council website and nothing appears in relation to the conservatory, but the aforementioned windows do and the dates state:

    Notice Received: 29/02/2008
    Completion: 06/03/2008

    That would imply to me the seller obtained the regulation prior to selling the property...but it would seem not for the conservatory - ?

    Where does this leave me as a seller? I am desperate to complete this sale as it's been lingering on since May. As ever the quicker you want these things to happen the slower they take!

    I am assuming this is not a 'show stopper' in terms of proceeding with the sale? Do I have to fork out some more money to get this sorted out!?

    Many thanks
     
  2. AndrewM

    AndrewM
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    Hi,

    Conservatories are quite often exempt from the Building Regulations, in order to qualify for this exemption the following criteria must be met:

    1) Floor area less than 30sqm.
    2) Substantially glazed walls, using safety glazing as necessary.
    3) Fully translucent roof.
    4) Separated from the main dwelling via a set of exterior grade doors (more often than not, these are the french doors/patio doors that were formerly external prior to the addition of the conservatory). Note that if an enlarged opening was made to accommodate a set of doors this opening may need approval on the basis that it may constitute structural alterations.
    5) The main dwelling heating system has not been extended into the conservatory, however, this only applies under the most recent revision of Approved Document L. In 2008, as per your construction date, it was acceptable to extend the system as long as there is means to isolate the conservatory part of the system during times on non-occupation (i.e. to prevent energy wastage heating what is essentially a greenhouse).

    Hope the above helps! Clearly, if your conservatory does not comply with all of the above then Building Regulation approval would be required.
     
  3. IL Cattivo

    IL Cattivo
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    This is most certainly not a show stopper my friend. When we bought our current house the most recent extension which was built did not have planning permission or building regs or the vendor could not provide the suitable documents to support said permission/regs, so in order to resolve the matter we requested from the vendor and their solicitor what's called 'indemnity insurance' which will cover the buyer (new owner) of the property should the council or some other authority come knocking at the door querying it's existence.

    This form of insurance should only set you (the seller) back a one off payment of around £50-60.

    This should satisfy both parties and the sale should then commence.

    Speak to your conveyancer about it... and good luck. :smashin:
     
  4. Coffin

    Coffin
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    Thank you both for your informative replies!

    All the best
     
  5. Dancook

    Dancook
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    Take this advice with a pinch of salt, but I might go back with a simple 'there isn't one' and gauge their response.

    The buyer may not be that fussed, and they may just say 'ok' and carry on. Solicitors can just be anally thorough.

    If you mention indemnity policy, they might hold you to it.
     
  6. Coffin

    Coffin
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    Hi Dan

    Thanks for your info. The buyer is actually the Salvation Army and they are extremely thorough !

    They'll be fitting mains powered fire alarms, boarding in the loft, a shed (even tho I have a massive detatched garage), a rotary washing line and a red panic phone with direct connection to Batman himself

    I even had an asbestos check!

    So as you can imagine things like building regulations are up on their list .. :(
     
  7. AndrewM

    AndrewM
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    Hi,

    A bit more info. for you...more or less a repeat of my earlier post (scroll down to the Building Regulations part):

    Planning Portal - Conservatories

    I would firstly determine if the structure is exempt - and if it transpires that it is, problemo solved!
     
  8. Orson

    Orson
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    It's quite rare for a conservatory to require building regs approval, as there are even exemptions to the points mentioned in the Planning Portal and some of the posts.

    Obviously without knowing the exact specification of your conservatory, i can't say for definite :)

    I'd just write back to them and say there weren't any, as you believe they were not required at the time. It will just be someone in their office using a standard 'tickbox' form to generate questions, many of which will not be relevant.
     
  9. mikelj

    mikelj
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    As mentioned previously, a conservatory may not need planning permission depending on size, glazed walls, ceiling, etc. it's fairly straightforward to find the conditions, your local council website may have them listed.

    If your conservatory did require planning permission and does not have it, then there are still options open to you. I had this issue with I house I sold where I couldn't find planning approval the detached garage (built by previous owners). At one time this wasn't deemed an issue where a structure had been up a number of years, but this all changed a few years ago when a council won a court case. To make my problem go away, my solicitor recommend that I take out imdemnity insurance (I believe it was called, about £40), which effectively would pay to have the structure taken down in the unlikely event that you were ordered to do so.
     
  10. Coffin

    Coffin
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    Hi mikelj

    Mine did require planning permission which was granted. There's no dispute over that

    The query is over whether buildings reg approval was required

    Cheers
     
  11. Coffin

    Coffin
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    The buyers solicitors want £50 for the indemnity insurance so went with that...I'm very eager to complete!
     

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