It is possible to have retrospective building regulations approval given for unauthorised work carried out either by yourself or a previous owner of your property.
And, if you are in the situation were you know that the loft conversion in your home was built without the necessary approval, then you should give serious consideration to making such an application.
It really is essential that your loft conversion has the correct approval from the council’s building department.
I can't stress how important this is as without the correct certificates you may find it very difficult to sell your property.
If your work doesn’t have the correct building regulations approval then you need to contact the local council and submit a ‘regularisation application’.
Making An Application
Along with a completed application form the householder will also have to submit plans of the unauthorised work and of the additional work needed to meet the building regulations criteria that was in effect at the time of the conversion.
There is also a fee to pay and, whilst councils may charge different rates, the £306 fee charged by my local council is probably typical.
At this point it must be stressed that this fee is non-returnable.
In other words, if the council receive your application and then determine that no additional work is necessary, or you then refuse to carry out the required work, you will still forfeit the fee.
Before making your regularisation application make sure you seek advice from the council’s building control service – you may be worrying over nothing.
By the same token, if you are unsure if you have unauthorised work in your home, get in touch with the council and ask their advice.
What Happens Next
Once the council receive your application for retrospective approval they will carry out an inspection of your property and may even ask you to ‘open up’ work so they can make a full inspection.
You will then receive a written notification of the work that needs to be done in order for the council to issue a ‘regularisation certificate’.
Once the new building work is finished the council inspector will visit again to make sure the work meets the required standard. The certificate will then be issued.
Work without the correct building regulations approval can be subject to legal action by the council.
However, this usually only happens when the householder refuses to carry out the work necessary to comply with the building regulations.
For more info see the related pages below