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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10635
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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Hi, I am looking at purchasing a freehold property that I suspect

Resolved Question:

Hi, I am looking at purchasing a freehold property that I suspect has a a illegally built staircase to the loft. The staircase has been built but the loft conversion is only partially complete. I checked the local council website and no permission was sought for the staircase or loft conversion. What could the council request me to do if I purchased the property?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Planning permission won't be required for a loft conversion with staircase. However, what is required is Buildings Regulations approval, which is Council approval that the work has been carried out in accordance with the current regulations.
If the work has not been completed and the property is not sold as having the benefit of a loft conversion, then matters can proceed, but if you were wishing to complete the conversion after you had moved in, you would need to obtain Building Regulations.
If the conversion is completed at any point without Building Regulations, then the Council have 12 months from the date the work was carried out to take out enforcement proceedings. Such proceedings would entail them serving a Notice requesting that various works are carried out to make the conversion meet with current Building Regulations.
It is unlikely that any such proceedings are ever issued unless you asked the Council to inspect or a third party notified them of the works.

If the works are to be completed by the Seller before you purchase, you should of course ask him to obtain approval, which is the best option. If the work is completed by the Seller without such approval, your Solicitor will have to disclose this to your Mortgage Lender, if you are having a Mortgage to finance your purchase. Your Mortgage Lender may not be willing to lend unless Building Regulations is obtained.

I hope this assists and sets out the legal position to you.

Kind Regards
AL

2. If you are a cash Buyer, you could proceed without Building Regulations


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