Loft bedroom records cause problems adding bathroom?

by Readers Question

14:03 PM, 26th November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Loft bedroom records cause problems adding bathroom?

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Loft bedroom records cause problems adding bathroom?

4 years ago, we bought a first and second-floor maisonette with a huge loft bedroom, listed as a bedroom by the estate agent, referred to as a bedroom by the valuer, and not queried by our conveyancer.

I recently found out, though, that Building Control have no record of any loft work there. I asked Building Control, as we would like to put a bathroom in that area. The absence of any record could be, because the loft is an original space or a historic conversion. In any case, the work certainly wouldn’t be up to modern standards (e.g. insulation), though presumably is structurally sound.

Building Control tell me, if we put a bathroom in there, we would have to bring the whole loft up to modern standards, unless it is an original (which it could be).

My question is: should my solicitor have picked up on the absence of building regs during conveyancing?

And should the estate agent have listed the house as 2 bedrooms?

And do we need to get a surveyor round to certify whether the loft is an original, as well as a structural engineer to certify whether the floor could take a bathroom?

Thank you.

Ryan



Comments

Neil Patterson

14:06 PM, 26th November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Maybe a silly question Ryan, but are other properties in the street of the same exact design and age? Might be worth checking with your neighbours.

Neil Hewitt

9:45 AM, 27th November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

This is one of the many reasons why there should have been a full level three RICS Building Survey carried out, and not to rely upon a lender valuation. The solicitor can only rely on the information that is given. The correct survey would flag up issues such as the correct bedroom number, legal issues, and also if the surveyor is told that it is a buy to let, then fire safety.

John Pettman

10:31 AM, 27th November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Is one to assume that the property is a Leasehold property?I would suggest that one looks at the actual Lease which should amongst other matters define the extent of the demised premises . Does it actually include the loft space ???? Further the lease should have a plan showing the actual lay out . Does this plan show the loft space set out as part of the demised premises???If this is the case one would be entitled to at least consider that what is now in the loft was part of the original building or conversion and NOT some additional work . It is quite common in Leasehold properties NOT to include the loft space and if that is the case here Planning/Bld Regs Is the least of your problems
John PettmanLL.B (Hons)

Ryan Whelpdale

9:47 AM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 26/11/2018 - 14:06
Good idea, but unfortunately it is the only one of its type.

Ryan Whelpdale

9:54 AM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Hewitt at 27/11/2018 - 09:45
Thank you. The solicitor says they didn't receive a copy of the valuation report anyway. Should they have asked to see it?

Ryan Whelpdale

9:56 AM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by John Pettman at 27/11/2018 - 10:31
There is a lease but we also own the freehold. The solicitor looked at the lease for us and says she can't glean anything from it. I will check with her that it does at least contain a loft space.

Freda Blogs

12:00 PM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Ryan Whelpdale at 01/12/2018 - 09:56If you own the freehold, you can grant yourself a new lease and include the loft space within the demise, if it isn't already demised.

Ryan Whelpdale

12:02 PM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

Thank you. Yes, I think it's already included, but if not we will do that. The main issue is whether it's an original loft, as if it is that would account for the absence of building regs records. Should our conveyancer have asked to see a copy of the valuer's report?

John Pettman

13:02 PM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

You should have received at least a copy of the Lease and as you own the Freehold you should also have the Counterpart so you should know if the loft forms part of the Leasehold interest. In respect of the valuation report . One therefore assumes that a mortgage was obtained when purchased and the position is some mortgage lenders send it out with the mortgage offer others will not and will not even if requested.
In any event not a lot is contained in a valuation report, sometimes for example it may state . Solicitor to check all necessary consents were obtained for the kitchen extension or some other matter. Do bear in mind the general time limits for bringing any action for breach of Building Regs/ planning permission and also permitted developments rights which differ for flats/maisonettes. You may wish to see the original planning consent to see what was originally given permission for
John Pettman LL.B (Hons)

Ryan Whelpdale

13:14 PM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by John Pettman at 01/12/2018 - 13:02
Thanks very much. The valuation report states that it has 2 bedrooms, that the larger bedroom is an attic room (without questioning building regs) and that the property is a "first and second-floor maisonette, probably original", though it's not quite clear what this means, and the box on the form on which it is written is too small to contain the end of the sentence that the surveyor wrote. My lender is asking the surveyor for some clarification on this. Either way, the surveyor didn't ask the solicitor to pick anything up. But if my solicitor had requested a copy, they would no doubt have done some checks or at least alerted me to the possibility of an issue. This is why I'm wondering if their service fell short when they neglected to ask for a copy of the report (which the lender thought they had sent but actually hadn't.)

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