Buying a house with an unapproved loft conversion?

Buying a house with an unapproved loft conversion?

15:28 PM, 29th July 2021, About 3 months ago 13

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I have reached sale agreed for a semi-detached house and am in the mortgage application phase of the purchase. The house has a converted loft space for storage, with a fixed staircase leading up to the loft.

The conversion does not have approval from the local authority. This was made clear to us before the sale by the estate agent, who indicated it would not be a problem as it is only used for extra storage space and not advertised as an extra bedroom.

The valuation survey done by our bank showed this up and stated ‘Conveyancer should confirm that all statutory and local authority approvals have been obtained for attic conversion for storage purposes with fixed staircase and Velux window.’

I discussed this with our conveyancer, and he indicated that if the conversion was done within the last 10 years (which it has) the bank will require retrospective planning approval before the funds can be issued. What I want to know is there anyone who has been in the same position, and what way did it turn out because it seems to me like if there is no planning granted then the bank will not provide the finance?

Again we knew there was no planning permission and are happy to purchase the house without it (we were told by the estate agent it would not be a problem because it is not advertised as an extra bedroom) but obviously the bank and conveyancer look at it differently.

Many thanks



by blair

19:49 PM, 1st August 2021, About 3 months ago

Not sure what you're getting at here. Those that are not "granted" mean nothing and they to old anyway

On the recent one that was granted, was the work done and was it done to approved plan and any conditions. - check the planning file. PLUS did it get building consent.
Breaches of conditions are enforceable for ten years ( but it wold need to be a significant breach ).

by David McCormick

3:11 AM, 6th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by blair at 30/07/2021 - 20:47
Good point about the 4-year rule, not 10-year rule.
I've had this 'problem' with so-called professionals in the past.

by Bruce Patterson

22:28 PM, 6th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Depends on what alterations have been done - if roof trusses have been moved to create additional storage then could be a safety issue. If no safety issues and been converted properly then it’s just classed as a loft area then valuer shouldn't have an issue other than not valuing the area as an additional bedroom. If your happy with the above you can take out an indemnity policy which insures against having to redo the conversion at a later date if building control force you to reconfigure it to current regulations.

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