Guidance Notes On Planning Permission Building Regulation Approval And Guarantess


Generally speaking one should be looking for evidence of :

  • planning permission : development work within the last 4 years
  • planning permission : change of use/or breach of condition : within the last 10 years
  • building regulation approval : all building work whenever undertaken

Note : the building regs. will also now include checks to be made on :

  • replacement windows, or roof lights, or roof windows or glazed doors installed and completed on or after 1st April 2002
  • electrical work carried out to the property since 1 January 2005 which requires notification under Part (P)(Electrical Safety) of the Building Regulations
  • any central heating boilers or water tanks installed on or after 1st April 2002

Absence of requisite consents : please be aware that the absence of planning permission and/or building regulation approval (and the completion certificate) could mean that the works are structurally unsound or alternatively that consent was refused

Please note : any absence of requisite consents :

  • should be referred to your surveyor before you proceed
  • will need to be reported to any proposed lender for clearance to proceed

Note also : the absence of the requisite consents does not necessarily mean that the work was carried out unsatisfactorily : conversely the issue of a Regularisation Certificate would not be conclusive that the work was satisfactory.

Enforcement proceedings : the local authority may take enforcement proceedings in respect of any unauthorized works and require them to be brought up to the required present day standard.

You will need to let me know if you wish me to make an approach to the local authority to obtain any copy consents and completion certificates even though (of course) this may alert the local authority to unauthorized works and precipitate enforcement action.

For properties within Birmingham please note Birmingham City Council have issued separate guidance as to enforcement for lack of building regulation approval.

Further advice : you will appreciate this it is for your surveyor (and not myself) to provide guidance or reassurance as to whether or not any building works have been carried out properly.

Consideration may need to be given as to indemnity insurance : note this will generally only be available where :

  • the work is over 12 months old (building regs) and 4 years old (planning)
  • there are no known structural problems
  • there has been no contact with the local authority

As to guarantees :

It is important to check the terms of any guarantees (for example : timber and damp work) to ensure that not only that the company providing the guarantee is still in existence but the guarantee itself is transferable : if it is, the terms upon which any transfer of the guarantee will be accepted by the company will need to be checked.

Improvements after 1st April 1993 : effect on Council Tax

Please note if there have been improvements to the property since 1st April 1993 there is a possibility that the property may be moved to a higher council tax band when the property changes ownership

These are important issues :

You should let us have as mach information as you have about works (or any change of use) that may have been carried to the property since its original construction : there may be a need to consider :

  • an application for retrospective consent
  • an application for an established use certificate
  • an application for an insurance indemnity policy

Important Warning :

These can be discussed further but you should not contact the local authority at this stage : this can jeopardize your ability to obtain indemnity insurance .