The difficulty with conveyancing is that you never know what problems you may encounter until you start work. What I can tell you is that one of the major causes of delay within residential conveyancing is a lack of Building Regulation Approval for alterations that have been carried out to a property. So here is some guidance on what Building Regulations are and what can be done to keep the transaction moving.
The essence of Building Regulations is compliance with broad objectives such as structure, fire safety, hygiene, glazing, insulation, gas and electrical safety as well as energy conservation amongst others.
If you are buying with the assistance of a mortgage we have to consider the requirements of your mortgage lender. If the valuation report requires us to check on the availability of Building Regulation Approval, or makes the assumption that the necessary consents were obtained, we shall need to refer the lack of consent back to them to allow them to weigh up any potential risks. Buyers need to be aware that this may effect a mortgage lender’s decision to lend on the property.
The best advice is to always check if you need Building Regulation Approval BEFORE starting work. Your local Building Control department is usually very helpful and many local authority websites provide excellent sources of guidance and information.
If you are selling a property, speak with your Solicitor first. Do not approach the council straight away as this may invalidate your ability to put indemnity insurance in place.
If you are buying a property you should always have a survey carried out and you should take advice from your surveyor about any alterations that have been undertaken and what steps they recommend should be taken before proceeding.
For further help or advice, please contact any member of our Residential Property team.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.