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Thread: property con

  1. #1

    property con

    I've been having an issue with my house for some time, we bought it as a three bed house, but it turns out its only classed as two bedroom because the previous owner had converted the attic into the third bedroom without plans or building regs, because of the time from purchase to now, we have no recourse on the previous owner, we've approached the estate agent who listed the property and shown them the brochure listing the house as 3 bed, they don't want to know and suggested we approach the surveyor who did the survey, we have and have never had any paperwork relating to the survey, so we've approach the mortgage advisor, he pointed us in the direction of the solicitor who acted on our behalf, they have no paperwork and suggested contacting Alliance & Leicester (now Santander) to ask for any correspondence relating to us, they wrote back saying they have nothing and never have.
    I'm smelling an elephant sized rat and am now wondering what else I can do?

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Contact all of the governing body's,ie Law society,ombudsman etc etc......smoke em out,they will soon start running around!!

  3. #3
    It may be worth contacting all the bodies you mentioned and asking for a copy of all information they have on yourself (or yourself and your wife if joint mortgage) under the Data Protection Act which legally entitles you to be able to see the information any organisation holds about you. There may be a small admin fee for this but it could turn up info that otherwise is supposedly missing. I've heard of people using this to get 5 years bank statements from a bank for a fee of 15 when the bank was going to charge 2 a page for the same statements through the normal means.

    I wonder has anyone ever tried doing this with their local constabulary's licensing dept.?

  4. #4
    regardless of no paperwork from your lawyer

    If they cannot prove that they advised you that the property you were about to purchase had work done without planning or building consent then they have to be liable.
    otherwise why are they involved!?

    you do have recourse on the previous owner.
    you have particulars of the house when sold.
    If they did the work and failed to mention that the conversion did not have a building warrant or the estate agent failed to mention that an aspect of the house was built without consent (you would require planning unless a dorma window or similar outwardly visible change is made as far as I am aware, building work within the foot print within the same use is not controlled by planning but is controlled by building standards, however they are able to retrospectively authorise changes assuming no contravention has occurred)

    surveyors dont do anything that Lloyd Grossman couldn't do. they won't be liable for anything

    negligent lawyer
    false advertising by the estate agent/vendor
    lack of due diligence by the mortgage company

    take your pick

  5. #5
    How long ago did you purchase the house?
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  6. #6
    Normally, the surveyor should have advised the lender that the loft conversion would require Building Regs, and included a recommendation to seek confirmation that all necessary consents were in place. Without the surveyor's report, it may prove to be an uphill struggle; Santander should have a copy somewhere (unless the mortgage has been paid off) and the advice regarding the Data Protection Act is worth following.

  7. #7
    We bought the house in 1997, my current mortgage advisor called me at 1am and told me he has been speaking to a legal mate of his who is having a dig around for me, he said I should complain to the Estate Agent Ombudsman abut the estate agent involved, I've just sent them an e-mail and await a reply.

    Fingers Crossed.

    Thanks for the replies too.

  8. #8
    If you do track down the survey, contact the surveyor and ask for a copy of their complaints handling procedure.

  9. #9
    are you looking to sell?
    Did you pay more because you thought it was a 3 bedroom?

    I live in a house where 2 of the bedrooms are box rooms without windows.
    perfect for me and I paid probably over the odds as it served my purpose.

    unless you think you have paid too much (but as it was 15 yrs ago that is a struggle) or cant sell as a 3 bed now you know....what do you want to achieve?

    I would pursue your lawyer and the estate agent personally....but then I do love a good arguement

    A building consent application form could clear it all up.
    Have you asked about that?

  10. #10
    No doubt such things should have been picked up at the time but after so long I fear it is too late to try to correct things. You should be able to get a quick legal opinion from the local CAB or perhaps from your trade union solicitors if you are a member of a trade union.
    I wouldn't waste money on trying to take it further after so long.
    Last edited by 8x57; 08-11-2012 at 14:28.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

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