What Do I Need to Do If I Want to Extend My Property?
Many homeowners will at some point want to extend their homes. It might be down to a growing family that needs more space, or simply adding value to the property.
Whatever reason you’re extending your home, you’ll need to think carefully and look at what options you have. It’s a big commitment when you factor in design, planning, working out costs and finally getting around to building.
If you’re unsure where to begin, speak to one of our experienced Conveyancing Solicitors, who can offer you professional advice on how planning laws and other restrictions apply to the type of work you wish to carry out.
We can also help you to understand planning permission and avoid any of the severe penalties a Local Authority may impose.
For free initial advice get in touch with our Conveyancing Solicitors.
Leasehold or Freehold?
It’s advisable to check whether your property is a Leasehold or a Freehold, as the guidelines for alterations are different. With a leasehold, you own the property, but not the land it is built on. If you own a property Freehold, then you own the property and the land it is built on.
Let’s say you own a Leasehold property. Your Conveyancer should have highlighted the conditions of the Lease when arranging the purchase of the property. However, if you’re unsure, then it may be worth contacting one of our Conveyancing Solicitors for some clarity.
You should always check the conditions of your Lease before planning any alterations, because the majority of Leases require consent to be obtained from the Freeholder, particularly concerning any structural alterations.
If you’re planning extensive work, then the Freeholder may also ask to see copies of architectural designs and planning applications before giving consent to the work. You’ll also need to let your mortgage lender know about the work.
As a Freeholder, you have more freedom to make alterations to your property. However, you may still require building regulation consent and planning permission depending on the size of the work you’re looking to carry out.
A Conveyancing Solicitor will be happy to look over your title deeds, because the previous owners of the property may have placed a restrictive covenant within the deeds. If this is the case, you may need consent from the previous landowners.
It is also worthy to note that some new build properties may not permit any alterations to be made until a specific amount of time has elapsed. Again, you will have to let your mortgage lender know about any planned alterations to your property.
Planning Permission for Extensions
The good news is; in most instances, you won’t need planning permission to extend your home. This is because the work is considered by Local Planning Authority’s (LPA’s) to be a permitted development.
Permitted development rights are a set of policies which allow homeowners greater freedom in extending their home. By acting upon these rights, you can extend your home to a certain degree without the need for planning permission.
This means that you won’t be required to gain any permission or submit any applications for planning permission, though there are certain limitations to the work you can carry out relating to things like:
- Size of the extension
- Proximity to public highways
- The height of the extension
- Usage of similar materials to the existing house
Other Things to Consider
Does the Planned Work meet Building Regulations?
Your house might have permitted development rights and won’t need planning permission, but work must meet minimum requirements for structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency etc.
Will it Add Value?
Does it make economic sense and will it add value greater than the cost of the project?
When carrying out a house extension you need to have site insurance with an A-rated insurer. This will cover the existing structure and the new works until you complete the project. The last thing you’ll want is to have to prove a fault and end up in a lengthy legal battle.
Get Legal Advice
Simpson Millar’s nationwide team of Conveyancers and Conveyancing Solicitors have an in-depth knowledge of local planning authority planning processes. We can make the relevant enquiries and organise the correct forms, all whilst keeping you fully informed along the way.
Whatever your property needs, we can provide clear and straightforward advice. We pride ourselves on providing a professional and friendly service and we aim to exceed customer expectations with every client.
Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.