Nicola Pugh, a Chartered Legal Executive at Shropshire-based PCB Solicitors, is urging individuals to always obtain building regulation approvals when altering their home to ensure the work is consistent with the set of compulsory standards which are in place to ensure the health and safety of those living in the home, as well as the water and energy efficiency of the property.
The Building Regulations Act was originally introduced in 1965 to provide a set of prescriptive standards that had to be adhered to when building new properties, or altering them in some way, and generally applies to anything that will change the structure, including changes to electrics, plumbing, cavity wall insulation or drainage. It also ensures properties are safe and accessible, and limits environmental damage and waste. Building Regulations are regularly updated to keep in line with changes to modern technology and building trends, for example, they now take into account electrical work, solar panels, central heating systems, fuel storage tanks.
Nicola explained: Building Regulations differ from Planning Permission and people often do not realise they must obtain approval for what can seem fairly minor work such as installing replacement windows. Although it may seem insignificant, failing to receive approval on any property improvements undertaken will result in not only additional fees when you decide to move house but potentially long delays and the risk of a sale falling through. During the house buying process, a conveyancer has a legal obligation to ensure all the necessary regulations are in place, so it is not something that will be overlooked in the process.
"If you are concerned that building regulations should have applied to your home but approval was not obtained, there are a number of options you can consider. An individual could apply for a retrospective building regulations approval from their local authority, which will involve the building control department inspecting the work, and if satisfied, issuing a regularisation certificate.
"Alternatively, an individual can purchase an indemnity insurance policy, which will cover the holder against any future losses should the local authority take enforcement action. Although an indemnity policy is often cheaper and quicker to implement, it can only be obtained if certain criteria are met.
"If you require any further information on either the retrospective building regulations approval, or the indemnity insurance policy, please do not hesitate to get in touch either on 01694 723818, or email email@example.com," Nicola concluded.
For further information about PCB Solicitors' complete range of legal services, please contact the Shrewsbury Head office on 01743 248148 or visit their website.
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