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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:49 pm 
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Hello. We have lived in a council house for 35 years. My husband had the loft converted about 30 years ago. We were told at the time that as long as the roof wasn't touched we didn't need planning permission. Originally my husband used the loft as a hobby room until our son & daughter were born. Eventually they needed a separate room to sleep in. My son moved up to the loft space. 10 years ago the council were doing a rewire on our home. The housing officer said that they were not aware that the house is now on 3 storeys. An inspector from building control was called out to check the loft. He said that by today's regulations it wouldn't pass on the staircase because the risers were slightly narrow but because it had been built for so long then there was nothing to be done. The rewire went ahead.

Fast forward to today. Our council sold it's properties to First Choice homes. They have been today and said they know nothing about the loft being converted, there is nothing on their records etc etc. He has told us point blank that he will not sign it off but has asked me to draw plans of the room and staircase and apply for retrospective planning permission. I don't really see the point in that because he has already said that he won't sign it off.

Please advise where I stand legally on this matter, i'm worried to death =(

Thank you


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:58 pm 
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What exactly does he want to "sign off"? And why does it matter?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:07 pm 
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Simply put, nothing has never been passed by building control, nor signed of as a habitable room.

Theres a lot more than access/staircase to be taken into account, as you said it was converted 30yr ago, it is and wont be up to regs.

You can only use/class it as your hobby room, loft/storage area.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:11 pm 
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Thanks for your reply Rorschach.


I honestly cannot answer that. As far as I was aware when the loft was inspected 10 years ago by building regulations that was the end of the matter. But evidently no paperwork or records seem to exist as to this inspection taking place. So it has to be inspected again and the words he said was.....it needs to be signed off. It's the retrospective planning permission that's worrying me. I've read about a four year rule?? I don't know whether it's wise to apply now or not. I'm sorry to be so vague.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:32 pm 
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So just ignore my advice.

It will allways be a loft, why think your different and above the laws , we all have to build by regs.

The difference between the time of when you had it inspected and now, all regs have changed.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:44 pm 
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Cotswold builder. I'm not quite sure why you felt the need to be rude?? I hadn't seen your reply, yet alone had chance to reply to it!

Where have I implied that I am above the law? As you have stated the regs have now changed but in 1985 they were different than they are today. I thought today's regulations would apply to today's builds. I am also aware that there are more to it than accesss/stairway. They just happened to be the points mentioned by the inspector.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Hard luck bud, with only a few months left you need to be rude,


Any hows you need full planning regs done on that gaff


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:21 pm 
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If being rude rocks your boat then so be it. I certainly won't be losing any sleep over it.

Thanks for your input. It is truly appreciated. All I was asking for is advice and guidance in a field I know nothing about.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:22 pm 
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The issue is about the Council's inability to take planning enforcement action as it outside the statute of limitations having been in place for 30 odd years. There is however a safety and construction issues to be considered. The loft clearly does not conform to regulations as the stairway does not meet requirements and I wonder if you have self closing fire doors off the hallway and landing? Add to this have the loft room floor joists been brought up to the correct load bearing capability?

In essence you have substantially altered a property that you do not own and the Landlord is quite within his rights to get the position rectified. There is of course the fact that if you rented the property today the rent would be higher to reflect the additional floor space. It is in your interests to get this problem resolved and you may wish to look at a Certificate of Lawfulness as a remedy.

I have to agree with Cotswold that is really no more than a hobby/storage area in its present state.

DWD



For this message the author dewaltdisney has received gratitude : cotswold builders
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:54 pm 
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Thanks for your reply Dewaltdisney. I understand and agree with what you are saying.
What I couldn't get my head around is the fact that I thought the issue had been clarified 10 years ago only to find that no paper trail exists from then. I will google "certificate of lawfulness ". Thanks again.


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