Why are Conveyancing Solicitors fixated on lack of Building Regulation Approval?

After the decision in Cottingham v Attey Bower and Jones [2000], Conveyancing Solicitors make it a priority to obtain copies of building regulations approval for renovations carried out to a dwelling when acting on behalf of purchasers in Conveyancing transactions.

Prior to this judgment, alterations that were more than 12 months old would not normally be further investigated by Conveyancing Solicitors as it was believed that building regulations could not be enforced.

As proof of compliance with building regulations, Conveyancing Solicitors acting on behalf of purchasers will request that copies of planning approvals and completion certificates. If these are not available from the vendor, the documents will be requested from the local authority or council.

What happens if I do work without applying for approval?

You are required by law to make an application to the local authority before commencing work on your property. Failing to do so will result in enforcement and legal action against you and will also make it difficult to sell your property in the future.

What if unauthorised work has been carried out by previous owners?

If a previous owner did not get building regulations approval, you may still be able to apply to cover the work that was carried out before you bought the property.

It may be necessary to uncover some of the work to conduct a proper inspection and additional work may be needed to make sure that it conforms to the requirements.

As this process can be costly, it is essential to instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor to act on your behalf when purchasing the dwelling so that matters of this type can be thoroughly investigated  beforehand to avoid any issues further down the line.  

For more information, contact us on 0330 660 0286.