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Why should you check building regulations when buying a house?

The buyers often think that a property with subtle design and work is a great investment. Once the conveyancing is done, and the land registration completes they are out of the furnace. However if you aren’t stringent in checking every aspect of the house properly, it would be a fool’s paradise. A seller must understand and fulfil building regulations but it’s buyers responsibility to verify the regulations are met. The conveyancing solicitor should make it easier to confirm if the house confirms to proper building regulations. Do you wonder why you need to know the regulations? Here are the reasons.

Building regulations control proper housing standards

The very first thing is to understand the rules. The local authority has the responsibility to oversee the building regulations. Most of the repairs don’t need building regulations approval, you can check Gov.uk site to check what does require approval. So, anyone who is renovating or working at the house by changing the specific elements must seek approval from the authorities. Some of the changes that require building regulations approval are:

  • replacing fuse boxes
  • bathroom with plumbing
  • replace, install or add additional heating system
  • add fixed air-conditioning machine
  • electric appliance around bath and shower

Modifications that do not need building regulations approval are:

  • Maintenance work for most small repairs
  • addition of lighting points to existing circuits

It always helps to check with your local authority to verify that the changes made by the seller are authorized by the local authority. The local authority must verify the plan and ensures that the plan complies with the permissible law. However, people often do not seek permission for the minor changes like plumbing or shower installation. However, these changes have an impact on the drainage, and that comes under the local authority.

Now, as per the Section 36, Building Act 1984, the local authority can stall the work if no approval is sought or serve a notice to put back the design as the original. This can be done within 12 months of the completion of the job. The most significant part is that the local authority does not bother whether the current owner changes the design. So, if a buyer purchases a property from a seller who did not seek approval, they should pay the price when local authority serves the notice.

What to do?

The buyer and the solicitor of the buyer must ensure that all prior approvals were sought from the authorities by the seller. However, if not, then the seller must pay the cost if the authorities ask for any change. It is not always possible to catch hold of the seller, so the buyers often transfer the risk to the insurance party. The insurance premium is quite low for this and can become very helpful for the purchaser if this situation happens. A solicitor is an expert on the building regulations, and he or she must ensure that the rules are followed.

This is not always a conveyancing cost, but the cost may hamper the planning of the buyer dearly. This is the reason; building regulations when buying a house must be verified. A good solicitor or conveyancer from the established law firms like NBM Law Firm should be contacted for better result and smoother experience. It is also good to do some research on the building regulations before purchasing. 


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