9:39 AM, 4th October 2014, About 8 years ago 4
I am in the process of buying a ground floor/basement floor flat off a vendor that had bought the property at auction as a single dwelling & turned into 2 flats over the process of a few years. I have subsequently discovered that she (the vendor) obtained retrospective planning permission but never got any building regs sign off. I am a prospective landlord that would only rent out the property with the necessary building regs. The vendor is unwilling to approach the council (alarm bells!) claiming that it will take her too long to go through the bureaucracy.
I am confident I can negotiate a discount given the lack of liquidity this property will have in the absence of building regs (zero chance of anyone getting a mortgage on it) but I am trying to get a sense of what I might be getting myself into. Worst case scenario (as I see it) is that I buy it and there are tanking issues with the basement, problems with soundproofing, no control over the flat above if for example the floors needed to be ripped up, to name just a few.
In light of this I rang a couple of private building reg companies to ask if they would accompany me on a visit to the flat to give me a better sense of the works that need to be done in order to be building reg compliant (I was happy to pay them). They all claimed that on legacy works it was only the council that could opine. I spoke to the council earlier this week and they were as usual shockingly unhelpful ….“er basically we cant help you until its your problem and you own it, cant help you until after that, if I was you I would stay well clear.”
Maybe they are right but all I am trying to do is get a more educated understanding of what this might cost to bring in line with building reg compliance.
Maybe the best decision is to just walk away, but what I would much prefer to do is get a better sense of my max downside so I can better weigh up the deal
If anyone has any better ideas/advice than the council it would be well received.