PROPERTY CLINIC: I’m buying a listed property – how do I make sure the recent kitchen extension was given the right approvals?

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  • Before buying a term property, check the consent whether any work was done
  • A buyer will inherit the liability for any previous unauthorized act done

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I am buying a listed property and want to make sure that the recent kitchen extension was done with the right approvals.

How do I investigate this and protect myself on this front? LP

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Before buying a term property, check the correct consent whether any renovation work was done

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MailOnline property expert Myra Butterworth answers: Before buying a term property with a recent kitchen extension, you need to check that the relevant consent was sought.

This is because you will be liable for any unauthorized act done by Seller.

Ultimately, this risk can be completely removed by reversing the actions taken – if possible – or by applying for consent retrospectively for a kitchen extension.

There are agreements that can be made, including looking into an indemnity insurance that will cover you and the bank against the cost of rectifying unauthorized changes.

And if you are a cash buyer, you may decide to proceed on the basis that you accept the risk of lack of consent.

Vanessa Rhodes of the law firm Kingsley Naples said: If you are looking to buy a listed home, it is likely to be a unique and interesting property. You are right that being listed means there are additional controls on any deed of the property.

The National Heritage List for England protects buildings of particular architectural or historical interest, which are considered to be of national importance. This means that all works to demolish, replace or expand a listed building require the consent of the listed building.

Local planning authorities grant approval for listed building works. Where works affect the exterior appearance of the building, planning permission may also be required and must be applied for at the same time.

For example, this may include building an extension or installing new windows and doors.

Below, Vanessa covers what you need to know:

How can I check that the required consent was obtained?

Make sure you instruct an expert heritage surveyor to review the property and to verify that all planning and listed building consents for the property were obtained.

This may be in addition to a regular building survey being conducted or some surveyors will do both in one survey.

The heritage survey should clarify whether the kitchen extension was approved, and what to do if it is not.

You can find heritage surveyors who will do both in one survey and charge the same fee as a standard building survey but often, clients will instruct one other than the building surveyor and they are usually a bit cheaper.

Heritage surveys also provide historic building and heritage conservation advice to assist responsible buyers with the practical care of historic buildings.

Your attorney will review the results of the local authority’s search for the property, which reveals all permissions obtained from the local planning authority for the property.

They will also inquire with the seller to ascertain whether the correct consent has been obtained and will check whether any of the conditions on the listed building consent have been fulfilled or if the on-going conditions are being complied with.

Your solicitor and heritage surveyor will also check to see if work was done before the building was listed. If so, there would be no problem as listed building consent would not be required.

Why is testing important?

It is essential to check whether the previous owners have obtained the relevant consent as you will be liable for any unauthorized act done by them.

Given that there is no time limit for enforcement action, you may need to reverse the change at some point in the future. In fact, so you could potentially have to ‘undo’ or replace the kitchen extension if it lacks approval.

This can be costly and reduce the value of the property and your enjoyment, so should be considered carefully before proceeding with the purchase.

Not taking a listed building consent when required is also a criminal offence.

The maximum penalty is imprisonment for two years or an unlimited fine. Not knowing that a building is listed, or claiming to have been done by the previous owner, is not a defense to any criminal proceedings.

Your options as a buyer

As the buyer, you need to consider the extent of any liability before proceeding with the purchase.

If you find that the property has been worked on without proper consent or that the listed building consent terms have been violated, you will need to consider the extent of the breach.

The heritage surveyor will generally guide you as to whether you will be able to obtain retrospective listed building consent for violations and which violations may be problematic.

If the kitchen extension was not approved, there are several things you can do as part of the process of conveying to reduce any stress or anxiety about consent and ultimately protect yourself. .

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The way to completely remove the risk is to reverse the change – if possible – or apply retrospectively for consent for a kitchen extension for you or the seller.

You may elect to negotiate a conditional contract with the seller, which stipulates that you will complete the purchase of the property only if the seller has obtained retrospective consent for the kitchen extension if it was declined.

Most sellers will be reluctant to agree to this approach because if they apply for retrospective consent and fail, it brings the issue to the attention of the local planning authority, which will then force the seller to serve an enforcement notice. are likely to. Change

Options include negotiating a reduction in price…

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