Ask a Tradesman
Loft Conversions Question
Loft conversion in maisonette with no building regs
Different variations of this question have been posted up, however I haven't seen one applicable to my situation.
I'm buying a maisonette with a loft conversion, but there has been no record of BC checking the conversion, and therefore no indication that the conversion complies to building regulations.
Upon further inquiry, I've found out that the loft conversion is over 10 years old, therefore no enforcement action can take place. (note: the loft conversion was carried out after 1990).
I wouldn't be able to take out indemnity insurance due to the lack of building regs. I also would not be able to rent out the space as a bedroom.
My question is this: Is the seller/estate agent, legally allowed to advertise this space as a bedroom?
I know others have said it cannot be a bedroom, however this always seems to be in situations when the conversion was carried out recently.
In terms of regs, anyone can advertise a space however they want to because the two don't go hand in hand. I'm not sure if there is any other act of law that prevents mis-selling/advertising though, so you would have to check that out. Although no action can be taken, if a solicitor asks for a certificate confirming it has been done to regulations then, as you can't take out indemnity, the only way of rectifying it would be to apply for a regularisation certificate to confirm it is to modern standards. This will also satisfy any insurance policy so you will be able to legally rent/sell it as a bedroom. You may be asked to expose certain parts of the conversion for the inspector to sign off and may also be asked for an electrical certificate so be prepared to pay for additional work on top of the certificate fee just in case.
UK Property Services
Answered 11th Sep 2013
I agree with the above. The local council can do a retrospective inspection but they will ask you to open up to view the structure and assess the insulation, they may ask that an engineer prepares a report to justify the safety of the structure. Also, if you can prove when this was built then it should be assessed under the building regulations at that time which may help.
Being a maisonette it should legally have planning permission as well.
All this cost and disruption should be undertaken by the current owner not the buyer and highly recommend that you are not left with the problem to resolve at your cost and risk.
Answered 13th Sep 2013