30 November 2016 at 13:53 #4123
Prospective buyer of a ground floor duplex. The place needs a lot of work (removal of internal wall, new bathrooms/toilets, kitchen relocation, electrics, etc). I will likely need to proceed with purchase before I can gain leaseholders consent and particularly building control consent as the latter seems to have the potential to take a while. I’m after some key things to help give me up front comfort my proposals are viable:
1) I’ve been assured all the internal walls are non-structural, despite being brick. ie, that I can knock one out without any need to worry about it being load bearing.
a) Can anyone confirm this?
b) Do the council “know” this, ie, I don’t have to get a structural engineer to “prove” it to them in any application?
c) Does anyone know of a structural engineer familiar with this building? (I’m not looking for a “recommendation” – just a factual request.
2) I’ll be doing a lot of work involving the plumbing, and am wary of the shared hot water arrangement. Following the recent major works:
a) My builder, on a casual inspection, didn’t notice any stopcocks. Does anyone know if they are there somewhere?
b) If not, does anyone know the presumably required “authorised” plumber that would need to install them?
c) has anyone done similar work, particularly with installing new waste pipes, and if so could they let me know the plumber familiar with the building?
3) Application timescales.
a) I thought I’d read somewhere landlord’s permission had a 6 week turnaround. I now can’t find this reference – anyone know how long it may take?
b) Assuming legal compliance, is it possible that building control will withhold permission for any other reason that I need to look out for?
c) Given that I’m not doing anything external/structural/extensions, am I naïve to think this won’t take too long to secure?
Any additional thoughts from whoever has gone through this very welcome!01 December 2016 at 13:48 #4130
Hi Tardigrade. I’ve just sent you a message with Shafeeq’s number – he’s both a member of the Forum and Chair of their TRA, so should be able to help!
Re Section 1.
My own personal observation is to get the assurances in writing, then you will have a fall back position if that proves to be incorrect. If you contact the Council they will be able to confirm whether you need their permission, or not, to make the alterations you are considering.
Section 2 is all about local knowledge specific to the building, hopefully Shafeeq will know someone who can help, but otherwise consider attending the next TRA meeting if it is soon?
Section 3: Timescales: Ask Camden what their current turnaround time is (and ideally post back here as to what the answers are!). The Leaseholder Services team should be able to point you in the right direction. Re. “too long” – it all depends on your definitions of too long!
Others also welcome to chip in their advice – I haven’t undergone this sort of thing so can’t provide much detailed help.
Best regards, Paul02 December 2016 at 14:13 #4131
Hi – concerning stopcocks, in our street front property the water could be shut off from the basement of the next door building. I guess that was because they were all conjoined and over time no one had the incentive / money to sort it out. There was also an intermediate stopcock at ground floor near the street front entrance door to our building – boxed in at hip level, easily opened. And then one for my flat behind the bath panel. So the message is to speak to neighbours and enquire widely – and communicate in advance so any interruption of supply is flagged clearly. You don’t want bad relations with neighbours!03 December 2016 at 17:27 #4133
Thanks guys, will feed back anything I learn from the process.
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