Attic Converted to bedroom

Postby RobWhite » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:10 pm

I am in the process of buying a house which has had the attic converted into a bedroom. However, the solicitor noticed that this conversion does not have building regs. In addition, the surveyor gave me the impression that the conversion does not comply with buildig regs.

A few things that were pointed out by the surveyor were:
1) stairs too steep
2) roof joists not strengthend properly

This has now worried me such that I am left feeling that the conversion may be unsafe. I really like the house and I need guidance on my next logical steps.
ALSO I have heard rumours of an indemnity form but what is it?
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Simply Build It

Postby bco » Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:34 pm


There are 3 options to take here really!

1. If the works were carried out after the 11th November 1985 ask the vendor to apply for a regularisation certificate from the local Building Control authority. A regularisation application involves them applt#y for retrospective approval and proving the works are to B.Reg's Standards and if necessary putting the works right to the correct standard.

2. If the works were carried out prior to the 11/11/85 have an independent structural engineer and survey look at the works to asertain the exact non compliances of the works. You may have already fone down this route looking at your post!

3. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT!! take out an indemnity! These are insurance policies that mean very little. Non compliance with the Building Regulations and failure to give notice to the Local Building Control Authoprity is a criminal offence! Whilst the indemnity policy may cover the cost of any remedial works or removal works it does not cover you for the criminal prosecution element! Current B.Regs fines stand at £5000 per contravebtion, with further fines for each day the works remain in contravention after conviction, these would be payable by you as the insurer would not pay out for a criminal conviction! The other thing about indemnities is the insurer will not usually insure if the Council have been made aware of the illegal works.

It would seem to me if major issues are being flagged ie. the roof joists are not strengthened properly do you want to buy and live in a property that has the potential for structural problems in the future or worse case collapse!!!!!

If I were in your shoes, which I am not. I would insist on option 1 or pull out of the deal due to the severity of the issues you have highlighted, sorry to be blunt about it!

Hoipe that helps, good luck
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