25 April 2014 by

No building regulation consent? What happens next?

How do you know whether you need to obtain building regulation consent when making changes to your home? This question is often confused with the need for planning permission, which is an entirely separate requirement.

Building regulation consent is essentially the requirement to have building works and alterations to your property certified as being structurally safe and in compliance with energy efficiency standards. Planning permission on the other hand looks at the potential effect of a proposed development on the surroundings, environment and nearby properties. Planning permission is needed before any works can be carried out whereas building regulations are certified throughout the construction / alteration period and give final certification once completed.

If you are planning on undertaking building works or alterations to your home you should always consider whether you will need building regulation consent. You may be surprised at just how many types of works are regulated, including:

Installation of double glazed windows

Installing a gas or oil-fired boiler

Changes to a driveway affecting the surface water drainage

Installing new electrical wiring including outdoor sockets and power supplies

Internal changes such as removing a load bearing wall

Changes to the ‘thermal lining’ of the building such as re-plastering / insulating

Of course each of the above examples have detailed requirements, so it is always best to speak to the building control team at your local council before you make any changes.

Once the works are completed the local authority or a person registered under the ‘Competent Person Register’ will certify them to confirm that they comply with the regulations. They will then issue a completion certificate.

When purchasing a new property, it is always sensible to obtain a survey to establish whether any historic alterations have been made. Mortgage lenders will also require a valuation to be undertaken as a part of their lending criteria.  The surveyor or valuer should report on any changes which have been made which would have required building regulation consent and will ask your solicitor to check that they were correctly obtained.  Without such checks a failure to notice such problems could lead to expensive repairs and have a huge impact on the future marketability of the property.  

It is therefore very important to comply with building regulation requirements and seek professional advice before carrying out any works to your home.

Should you have any queries in relation to building regulations please contact a member of our residential property  team and we would be more than happy to assist you with your queries.


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