Three icons to represent Building Regulations Legislation, Competent Person's Sign off, and Building Regs Approval. SAM Conveyancing's guide on Selling Without Building Regulations Approval
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Selling Without Building Regulations

(Last Updated: 08/12/2022)
3 min read
If you own a property which does not have a completion certificate for any regulated works, (structural, pipes or services) you will find this effects your ability to sell. This may have been an oversight when you had works completed, or you may have bought the property without a survey and therefore missed uncertified works carried out by the previous owner. Luckily there are three different ways to get around selling a house without building regulations.

Can you sell a house without building regs?

If the works were carried out in accordance with building regulations, you can apply for a letter of regularisation. This is a retrospective inspection or inspections carried out to check whether the work was building regulations compliant. This will give a you and the buyer peace of mind that the works are safe and no action will be taken against them to remedy the uncertified work.

What happens if you don't get building regulations?

If there is a chance that the building work was non-compliant, then a letter of regularisation will not be the best course of action. Option two is indemnity insurance, however, this cannot be obtained if the council are made aware of the non-compliant works, following a failed inspection for a letter of regularisation, for example.

Many people choose this option anyway, as it is relatively cheap and is often enough to appease your buyer if they are primarily concerned with costs. You must receive legal advice on the terms of your indemnity insurance, your conveyancing solicitor can arrange this along with our package for the conveyancing of your transaction.

Bear in mind though, that this does nothing to reassure the buyer that the work was safe. More cautious buyers will be unwilling to purchase without the peace of mind that comes along with a letter of regularisation.

A third and final option (If neither insurance, nor regularisation are available to you) is to re-do the works with proper notification and inspection from building control, or to accept a reduced price for the property, to reflect the cost to the buyer for doing so themselves after purchase.

What building works require building regulations approval?

What building works don't require building regs approval?

  • Structural work & Alterations

  • Extensions, including some conservatories

  • Drainage

  • Heat producing appliances

  • Cavity wall insulation

  • New electrics

  • Excavation and pouring of new foundations

  • Building of oversite

  • Damp Proofing

  • Signing off a new build prior to completion

  • Work carried out by a member of the Competent Persons Scheme

  • Most repairs and maintenance (except heating systems, oil tanks, fuse boxes and glazing units)

  • New power points and lighting points, or repairs/maintenance to existing circuits (except around baths and showers)

  • Replacing toilets, baths, sinks and basins (same type fixture in same location - ie replace an old tub with new tub)

Frequently Asked Questions
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Written by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.

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