I am buying a house which has had the original garage converted to living space. It transpires from the local searches that this conversion is not covered by Building Regulation Approval. What should I do as I want the house?
It is quite probable that this conversion would also require Planning Permission due to its change of use. If you have established that it is only Building Regulation Approval which would have been required – and this was not obtained at the time – you can obtain indemnity insurance cover for the lack of Building Regulation Approval provided the alterations were carried out more than 12 months ago.
Be aware however that any approach to the Local Authority may well invalidate any indemnity policy and you must, therefore, decide early on which option you wish to take. Alternatively, you can submit a retrospective application for Building Regulation Approval, the cost of which will probably exceed the cost of any policy.
Do not forget, though, that one critical part of a lack of Building Regulation Approval is the fact the Local Authority has not confirmed that any alteration has been carried out to Building Regulations standards.
You must, therefore, satisfy yourself on the existing structure of the garage conversion – regardless of whether or not you choose to take out such a policy for the lack of any formal consent.