Agency never informed me of the erection of imposing extension next door

by Readers Question

15:06 PM, 29th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Agency never informed me of the erection of imposing extension next door

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Agency never informed me of the erection of imposing extension next door

I have a house fully managed since 2006 through what is probably the largest agent operating in the UK. Agency never informed me of the erection of imposing extension next door

I have not been at all impressed over these years but now I am really disappointed.

On my last visit to the property I found that there has been an extension which looks more like a shed attached to the rear of the next door house and between what was an existing masonry/normal extension and the dividing garden fence.

Apart from the fact that it is ugly, it also is visible from within my property and blocks the light and sky which before could be seen as you sat at the dinning table.

I am annoyed that the agency never informed me of this although it does not surprise me as in the past the service has left a lot to be desired.

In the last couple of years I have had a good tenant who looks after the home as her own and together we circumnavigate the agencies shortcomings.

My question is, do I have a right to complain?

Should the agency have alerted me about this unsightly extension?

It will affect future prospective tenants or buyers.

I am considering selling and are now more worried about this than ever.

Please help.

Joe



Comments

Mark Alexander

15:09 PM, 29th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Joe

Has the extension got planning consent and building regs?

I suspect not if it's as bad as you have described.

on that basis, how would the agency have ever known about it?

Another question is why didn't your tenants mention it?

I suggest you check with the council as to whether planning and building regs were obtained. A complaint to them may get you better results as I can't see what's to be gained by complaining to the letting agent.
.

Joe Bermejo

11:27 AM, 30th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "29/07/2013 - 15:09":

Dear Mark,
I have placed a complaint with the local council who is investigating when it was built. They have not mentioned anything about planning consent. What they have told me is that if the structure is more than four years old they are powerless. So the date it was built is the key as to wether my complaint is successful. The current tennant has told me that the structure was already there when she moved in and that is three years ago. Prior to her tennancy there have been other tennants in and out of the property. Normally the agency would have checked out and checked in tennants to the property and it is at this point that I would have thought they would have noticed the new ugly neighbour. I pay a full management commission, get charged for all and sundry, is it too much to expect? During this time there have been countless property managers and finally this large agency has been absorbed by another large agency. Things recently seem to have improved however. I guess the turmoil within the workforce leading up to the merger contributed to some of the mismanagement I have experienced in the past. This does not however excuse the fact that lack of proper procedure is probably what let this slip through the net.
I am now in a position where I do not make enough profit from the rent so think selling might be my best option. Bearing in mind I live abroad I am using the agency to market the property for me for which a handsome fee is obviously charged. If this structure affects the desireability of the house then it will be really unfair that the same people whom I entrusted to manage my property and failed to inform me of this should now charge their fee regardless of the final selling price. I hope I make myself clear.

Puzzler

16:59 PM, 30th July 2013
About 5 years ago

A rather strange question: whatever the shortcomings of your agent, it is not in their remit to inspect and report on neighbouring properties, although they might if there were a major problem directly affecting you (such as vandalism, squatting, flytipping etc.). There is no legal right to a view and if your tenant hasn't mentioned it perhaps it's not such an eyesore as you say. If it's just a shed or extension such as a conservatory it may not require planning (under the 3m rule or just that it is a shed). Without seeing it I cannot say if it will make it harder for you to sell but whatever transpires with the council, I don't see how you can blame your letting agent, in all probability they simply didn't notice.

Mark Rowe

17:00 PM, 30th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bermejo" at "30/07/2013 - 11:27":

Hi Joe,
First reply to a comment on here but hopefully I might be able to shed some light for future issues like this.

I run an agency in Hampshire and Mark has asked some very valid questions, but the one I would really like to know is: Is it more of a 'lean-to' that you are describing, between the fence and their extension?

If this is the case then most structures like this are allowed without planning consent.
For the purpose of selling the property, is it worth investing in a trellis to run across the top of the fence to mask this? I may be getting the wrong end of the stick completely, but I would turn this on it's head, find a solution and make your property as attractive as YOU possibly can.

Mark Rowe

Joe Bloggs

10:20 AM, 31st July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Rowe" at "30/07/2013 - 17:00":

thats incorrect advice from an agent (shock horror)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! permitted development under the General Development Order doesnt differentiate between 'lean-to' structures and other types of extensions. it may well not have needed planning permission, but that has nothing to do with it being a lean-to structure.
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/general/faq/faqplanpermhome

Mark Rowe

10:33 AM, 31st July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "31/07/2013 - 10:20":

Wow! 'Joe Bloggs' Easy tiger!

I didn't specifically say that Lean-to structures are automatically permitted, I was trying to gauge the size of the structure as there were no pictures with the initial comment.... little bit hard to be exact without seeing it first...

Nice to know that you have put your neck on the line by calling yourself 'Joe Boggs' I see from your profile that you like a 'good fight' so perhaps we should leave it there until further evidence is/can be supplied by Joe.... Don't want you getting to overheated..

😉

Joe Bloggs

10:36 AM, 31st July 2013
About 5 years ago

yes, there are a lot of agents out there who give advice before engaging brain.

Mark Rowe

10:40 AM, 31st July 2013
About 5 years ago

Lucky I'm not one of them 😉

Mark Alexander

10:44 AM, 31st July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "31/07/2013 - 10:20":

You have to love all the puns though Joe? "shed some light" LOL

Joe Bloggs

11:09 AM, 31st July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "31/07/2013 - 10:44":

yes, may be agents are better suited to being comedians.

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