Building Regs compliance disclosure all the way back - unworkable?


P

Postman Pat

Recently, conveyancing solicitors have been checking on whether any
alterations have been done, and if so have they met BR.

An explanatory leaflet I have just seen from one solicitor says that
while a Section 36 notice could in the past be served at most 12
months after the work was completed, a test case in 2000 has changed
this and now ALL alterations, no matter how far back, can require
proof that building regs (presumably as they were at the time!) were
met.

They say that a mortgage lender will not lend on a property unless
this has been verified by a surveyor. He will presumably compare the
original builder's plans (if available) with the current state.

One can get insurance but these policies are conditional on the
Council's attention not having been drawn to the alteration, or to any
subsequent enquiry.

It appears to me that this is an unworkable system. Almost any house a
few decades old will have had alterations. Possibly trivial ones like
a rewiring, or walls removed, etc. If the lenders really won't lend,
this is really going to cause havoc.
 
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P

PeteM

Postman Pat said:
Recently, conveyancing solicitors have been checking on whether any
alterations have been done, and if so have they met BR.
Which solicitors have been checking on what property?
An explanatory leaflet I have just seen from one solicitor says that
while a Section 36 notice could in the past be served at most 12
months after the work was completed, a test case in 2000 has changed
this

What test case? The law is pretty clear about the 12 month limit.

and now ALL alterations, no matter how far back, can require
proof that building regs (presumably as they were at the time!) were
met.
Proof is never *required*. It's always up to the purchaser, or more
likely his solicitor, to decide whether they want to see a copy of a
building regs certificate. Solicitors often encourage this, so that they
can charge their client a bit more. It's a racket.
They say that a mortgage lender will not lend on a property unless
this has been verified by a surveyor.
How would the surveyor know what alterations were done and when, and
whether they required building control approval at the time?
He will presumably compare the
original builder's plans (if available) with the current state.
Highly unlikely.
One can get insurance but these policies are conditional on the
Council's attention not having been drawn to the alteration, or to any
subsequent enquiry.

It appears to me that this is an unworkable system. Almost any house a
few decades old will have had alterations. Possibly trivial ones like
a rewiring, or walls removed, etc. If the lenders really won't lend,
this is really going to cause havoc.
Don't believe solicitors' leaflets. They'll say anything for money :)
 

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