Question house with a loft room ?

reevesy

Distinguished Member
hi all,

thought here might be good as place as any to ask about the murky world of loft 'rooms'

im currently looking for a new house and a couple have caught my eye with loft rooms..one in particular that i'm keen to go look at has one with windows and a skinny wooden straight stair up to it with no hand rail

now im assuming there's no regulation paperwork with any loft room that is not marketed as a bedroom but i dont know what a buyer should be looking out for...or in fact like i'm suspecting should walk away when it comes to diy conversions

originally i thought great thats a cinema/music room sorted but after a bit of googling it looks a right mine field.....fire proofing...correct enforcement of floors...sufficient ventilation behind walls to allow ventilation and prevent rot in roof wood work ..fire doors to name a few.


was thinking none of this can be checked without ripping it out ..which is not going to happen until you buy it....any surveys during the buying process is just going to visual ..and if the council get involved...then watch out as they could insist it's illegal so it will either have to be ripped out and put right...or ripped out and put back to normal.

i also read the if it was done so many years ago none of it should applicable ?..also sellers could be made to take an indemnity policy...which even if it was taken out...if the conversion is classed as illegal would be void?

any way as i'm sure theres many on here who have done it themselves i wondered what peoples views and experiences were?....or if i should just walk away

cheers
 

sicrates

Active Member
I’d treat it such that if it hasn’t been signed off by building control then essentially it is an unconverted loft and that should be reflected in the asking price.

Building control aren’t going to come into your place unless you are making changes you want them to sign off, or you want them to come in and sign off the old changes. But you are in control of that. They aren’t just going to rock up and start poking around your loft.

But I am no conveyancer so i am sure there are much more learned opinions on this than mine.
 

sicrates

Active Member
Your lawyer will find out the status of the conversion as part of the purchase process. You can use it as a stick to beat them down on price with. Probably the best thing to do is to ask them (directly or via estate agent) what the status of the conversion is, and if it hasn’t been signed off then why not. You’re right to think it’s a potential minefield.

But then again if you are just going to be living in the place rather than renting it out or selling it on then it could cause you no issues at all even if it is completely against regs.
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
thanks....yeah off to have a look in the morning....realise there would be inquiries made by my solicitor but wanted to be armed with as much info as i could before incurring costs...forewarned is fore armed as they say.

at the mo all i've got from the estate agent is it was probably done years ago as they are now elderly and the kids used to play in there..

was going to ring the solicitor i intend to use on monday to see what her views were on it...and if i was to request they get an indemnity policy how that would work

...i had to get one for the house i've just sold...for a right of way..cost me about a 100 quid and basically provide protection for the new owners from anyone trying to restrict access....by constructing a fence for example
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Don’t rely on your solicitor or conveyancer to find out. Many couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag. Ask the seller. Ask lots of questions. When was the work done? Who did the work? Did they need planning? Did they need and building approvals? Then check out the answers yourself.
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
Don’t rely on your solicitor or conveyancer to find out. Many couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag. Ask the seller. Ask lots of questions. When was the work done? Who did the work? Did they need planning? Did they need and building approvals? Then check out the answers yourself.
Thanks...Yeah it was more to do with how the indemnity policy would help me
 
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reevesy

Distinguished Member
Well found out how long ago it was roughly done....turns out my sister played in there as a kid !
...shes now 49 .

All the other work round the house and garden all looks to be done really well...and a lot looks professionally done so realistically I've no reason to doubt the loft wasn't done any differently .
 

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