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Buying a property with loft conversion - no planning permission


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Currently contemplating buying a 2 bed terrace BTL in Merseyside with a loft conversion (so 3 bed in reality). It is advertised as 2 bed so no planning permission.

It has been done to a very high standard and looks structurally fine to the uneducated eye. I would get a survey done to confirm.

What are the considerations when buying a property with no PP for a loft conversion? I know I obviously won’t be able to advertise as 3 bed.

Thanks

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Loft conversions are generally permitted developm,ent so you don't neccessarily need planning. It does need building regs though and to advertise as a bedroom it needs to meet various criteria around ceiling space etc. Also worth finding out when the conversion was doenas the longer its been in place the less relevant planning etc becomes.

Comments are based on my epereince rather than any real expertise

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Just to support previous replies it really depends on when the work was done.  If more than 10-15 years ago then planning departments are much less likely to start investigating. Also if done many years ago it can be argued that no additional regulations were required and so none were sort.

It is nice to see that some agents at least do advertise these properly.  So many in Nottingham would list it as 3 bedrooms even though there are no building regulation certificates are available for the work.

I am not sure about a retrospective compliance certificate but if you are concerned you could ask the vendor to put in place an appropriate indemnity insurance to cover the works and any future troubles around them.

Worth also noting that if a mortgage lender (the valuer) decides it is not a bedroom then they may downvalue to a 2 bed only valuation.

Hope this helps.

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Hi,

I am new here, but as a planning consultant I felt I should chip in with some advice if it helps!

I would advise you to require the seller to apply to the Local Authority for either a Certificate of Lawful Development (if the extension does not require planning permission) or for retrospective planning permission (if it does require planning permission). Ultimately, the Council are able to undertake enforcement action against the owner of the property regardless of whether it was them who carried out the works - so if you purchase a property without permission, you are responsible for it, not the previous owner who actually carried out the works.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you want to discuss further

Tom

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On 6/10/2020 at 11:38 AM, tom_bradfield said:

Hi,

I am new here, but as a planning consultant I felt I should chip in with some advice if it helps!

I would advise you to require the seller to apply to the Local Authority for either a Certificate of Lawful Development (if the extension does not require planning permission) or for retrospective planning permission (if it does require planning permission). Ultimately, the Council are able to undertake enforcement action against the owner of the property regardless of whether it was them who carried out the works - so if you purchase a property without permission, you are responsible for it, not the previous owner who actually carried out the works.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you want to discuss further

Tom

Thanks Tom that's really helpful. Gives me some more ammo for the negotiation!!

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