View Full Version : Scottish Red Tape Suits!!!!

10-06-2006, 03:16 PM
This has absolutely nothing to do with writing or even the US, but my head is about to blow off.

Has common sense and rationality completely disappeared throughout the UK isles???

Get this.
I am selling my house, the surveyor came. She cropped up with the idea that my little shower room needed a building warrant as it was put in 4 years ago.
As of this year I wouldn't have needed a building warrant because the rules have changed but since it was put in a few years ago I need a "letter of comfort" to say it's ok and to pay 300 for the priviledge.

I spose the council have to find some ways of getting their overpaid, fat, flaccid arses a few more quid.

Anyway, these things take time. I don't have time because I am about to lose the house I am going for.
The crux is that the people who are buying, don't want the shower room and are going to rip it out before they move in.

I've spoken to the council who say I must have a letter of comfort i.e. wait weeks and pay 300 and lose the house I want to buy in the process. For somebody who wants to rip it out.

Common sense in the UK? Doesn't exist.

God help us if we are ever invaded. We don't stand a bluddy chance:rant:

10-06-2006, 03:43 PM
Can you rip the shower room out yourself, salvage what you can, and then have a different surveyor come to your house? You probably need a "letter of comfort" to rip out the shower room too. Red tape, Red tape.

10-06-2006, 03:53 PM
That was the first thing I offered to do, Oarsman. No go.

Do you know we used to laugh at people like this. I remember when they used to have the "Jobs Worth" award on That's Life. They had a bit every week were some jumped up little loser who couldn't take a pee without reading the rule book, got a good hammering (laughter wise)

How come the people we used to take as a joke are now taken seriously???

I blame it on Blair and the EU.

A whole house sale gone down the tubes because of these bleedin idiots!!!

10-06-2006, 04:07 PM
I'm afraid you can only blame yourself, because you did need the letter when you put it in and either chose not to get one or didn't know you needed one at that time.

This happens all the time in the USA. People do things to their homes without finding out if they need building permits or what the local laws are regarding what they are doing to their homes. Or they ignore the laws because they don't want to pay the fees for the permit.

I'm sorry for you, but maybe this means the house you wanted wasn't the one you were meant to have.

10-06-2006, 04:18 PM
I didn't put it in, Brian.

Blame myself. I think not.

With all that is going on in the world, I think the suits should learn to be more flexible and stop sharing that brain between them. They really need one each!

10-06-2006, 05:17 PM
Pardon my lowly stupidity, but WTF has selling a house got to do with the council? Is that one of the new rules, that the surveyor must pass this info on to the council for approval? Sheesh! Nazi Britain!

Anyways, jaw-dropping shock and impulse to set fire to the nearest council offices aside, the sale can't go through with an "applied and paid for building warrant" note attached?

-Derek (also in Scotland)
My Web Page - shameless vampyre fiction & other shameless writings. (http://hometown.aol.co.uk/DPaterson57)
You know what they say: History is programmed by the winners.

10-06-2006, 05:41 PM
In California, Sellers are required to disclose anything that may alter a buyer's desire to purchase a home, prior to closing the transaction. Not disclosing to a buyer that work was performed on a home without a permit can result in nasty lawsuits in the future.

You didn't say YOU didn't put it in, so I assumed you did. Sorry.

I don't know the circumstances of your initial purchase but if the counsil bends on this one instance, it would seem they are then setting precedent for others to require they do the same thing for them in the future.

Laws are laws. Your gripe is with the person you bought it from for not telling you they did it without paying for and obtaining a building warrant. Perhaps you will ask future sellers if they have done anything to the home that required a building warrant that they did not obtain?

In the meantime, perhaps you can ask the counsil to "fast track" your case so that you may still purchase the other home? Or explain what happened to the person you are buying the new home from and ask if there is a way to still save the deal? Maybe an increased deposit as a show of good faith?

I have found that deals can still be salvaged with good communication between the parties.

Good luck.

10-06-2006, 06:45 PM
Ooh Brian, Is Laws are Laws the same as Rules are Rules?

Thing is, if there was no charge involved, i.e. they didn't charge 300 for giving me a letter of comfort, they couldn't care less.

Why employ professionals if it only takes a monkey to read from the rule book and not be able to interpret individual situations according to common sense.

I wouldn't mind but to my knowledge this house has passed through 2 owners since the shower was put in and nobody mentioned it before. Thing is, if it had a toilet in that room before then it wouldn't need a building warrant now. The fact is, that nobody knows what was there before, and if indeed any permissions were required. It is only a 6 by 3 foot cupboard after all!
If you look at it realistically, any surveyor could turn up, say something had been altered (because they don't have to have just cause) and all the world starts to hop about and pay 300 for stuff they don't need.
I'm pretty peeved with the guy who surveyed the place for me because he never mentioned it in his report, but then again he may have asked the owner and he could have said it was a one for one replacement - who knows?

The bug bear (bare?) is that the people who want to buy the place want to pull it out before they even move in. The world has gone mad!!!

Don't worry about the warrants for the place I want to buy - no water/electricity/drains - it's pretty much a blank canvas:D

The other alternative of course, is for the people who want to buy it, to proceed and then pay over 300 to pull it all out again. Bet they wouldn't be so keen if that was the case.

I'm going to find out at the end of all this that you earn your keep in a suit, aren't I? :tongue

10-06-2006, 07:27 PM
I'm going to find out at the end of all this that you earn your keep in a suit, aren't I? :tongue

Nope. :)

In California, they have escrow agents. A third, neutral party who holds all funds and makes sure all aspects of the real estate purchase contract are complied with before passing title to the buyer and handing the money to the seller. Escrow does not represent or advise the buyer or seller. Their realtor, or in some cases, their attorney/solicitor, does that.
I retired from the escrow profession in 1997. :hooray: My career in escrow, plus having bought and sold numerous homes over the years, is where my experience in real estate stems.

We learned the hard way on one of our early purchases where a seller did not disclose modification to a property without a permit. We ended up paying for an inspection and the permit before we could close the transaction. Naturally, our Seller had left California and was nowhere to be found. It was a hard, expensive lesson, but one well learned and we don't buy anything without full disclosure and without ourselves checking records for permits pulled and paid for on a home we are considering buying.

Someone down your chain of title did something they knew required a building warrant and chose to ignore the law. Previous surveyors may not have known the room needed a building warrant or chose to ignore it. Unfortunately, you are the one having to pay the price now.

10-06-2006, 07:31 PM
Check the friggin law for yourself.
There is half a chance the inspector is wrong, they lost the opportunity to collect two owners ago. If they are obligated to check old regulations now, they were certainly obligated to check then. Take their friggin red tape and have a bondage party!

10-06-2006, 08:51 PM
I like the idea of a bondage party. Or maybe even a hanging!!!

Derek, unfortunately this stuff is to do with the council. Really it should be to cover people for things that are dangerous or do damage to the buildings, but it's not.

I actually thought I was fully covered for all the building warrant stuff, so this came as a mighty surprise.

I knew Brian was a suit - OK in a past life maybe, but a suit nonetheless - Derek, go get that tape ...:D

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-06-2006, 09:45 PM
I'm with Kentuk... we (one of my boss' companies) recently worked on a land deal here in Oklahoma. The buyers surveyor went to the property and came back to file a report that there was a 'structure built with old batteries' on the property and that was an environmental hazard.

Well, yeah. It would be. IF the 'structure' was on the land we were selling. And IF the foundation of the 'structure' had been made of old batteries. Neither was the case. He was surveying the wrong property and he didn't know a battery from a casing.

Get 'em, girl!

10-06-2006, 10:15 PM
Just let me know their names and I'll have them killed.

Random thought balloon... if you disconnect the shower from the water system, it's not a shower any more, it's an open storage area.

Then again, if you've submitted the application then you're in the system and are currently being monitored by several council surveillance systems! Including an orbital warbird laser platform. That's what your council tax pays for, citizen. Just thought you'd like to know.

My Web Page - shameless vampyre fiction & other shameless writings. (http://hometown.aol.co.uk/DPaterson57)
Sir? I'd like you to take the helm, please. I need this man to tear all my clothes off.

10-06-2006, 11:24 PM
Yep, I think I'm already in the system.

Don't think they can sue me for taking it out though ... and then maybe I could apply for a grant to put a shower facility in?

Or maybe we could just go for the killing idea ...:tongue

English Dave
10-07-2006, 03:21 AM
Jeez Dolly. Are you really arguing over 300? And you're selling the house for how much?

10-07-2006, 08:21 AM
Well, it's the £300, on top of the other £3000 that the buyers have been bickering about.
If you want to pay it though ...?

Thing is, the side that are buying it didn't let us know for over four weeks, even though they knew. By that time it was too late to sort things out properly by getting the regular consents and everything. There was also another delay due to confusion because the shower is actually within current guidelines (it just wasn't when somebody put it in).
So the outcome by then was that the people I were buying off were sick of waiting because my lot kept throwing all the new stuff at us. They gave me a deadline (which my buyers were aware of) and then this cropped up.

So, no, it's not really the £300 (although I ain't got it) it's the fact that they left it while the last minute (letting me think all the problems had been sorted) then threw this into the mix - the irony being that they want to rip it out before they even move in.

Upshot - I can't get anything done in time without losing the house I want, nobody will even consider an alternative solution, everybody loses!

You could look at it the other way and ask why the buyers didn't offer to pay it - after all they are the ones that want to rip it out.

Oh, Dave, I'm actually letting them have the house cheaper than I was advised to. And it doesn't matter what you sell it for, if you can't afford to buy anywhere at the end of it ... you're stuffed.