Lack of planning permission: indemnity insurance protection

Local authorities require that most building work, including alterations and extensions, obtain planning permission. However, some homeowners don't seek planning permission if they need the job done quickly, or the builder may not seek permission. Broadly speaking planning permission is a form of protection for the building work; it ensures work is safe and doesn't violate any regulations, such as being partially built on someone else's land or violating a neighbour's privacy. Lack of planning permission indemnity insurance can be obtained if planning permission was not sought, but it only protects your finances and the value of the home against a local authority enforcing Section 36.

Lack of Planning Permission Indemnity Insurance of Buyers

If you're purchasing a home your solicitor may make you aware of any alterations performed that did not have the correct planning permission documents from local authorities. They'll advise you to take out lack of planning permission indemnity insurance before purchasing the home, but it's normally the seller who will take out this kind of permission. In some cases the homeowner may not even be aware their property didn't have planning permission.

Lack of Planning Permission Indemnity Insurance for Sellers

If you're selling a home and become aware that your builder did not seek planning permission you should take out indemnity insurance yourself. A buyer isn't likely to cover the cost for you, and the fee is normally a one off payment of around £50 to £500, depending on the insurance you receive and the firm you go to. The indemnity insurance is transferred to each new homeowner once its taken out, for the duration of the property's life.

Taking out Lack of Planning Permission Indemnity Insurance

You can only take out indemnity insurance if building work was carried out at least 12 months ago. A local authority cannot have already approached you regarding the building work. Once you take out lack of planning permission insurance you are only financially protected from local authority enforcement, or the value of the home is protected. Indemnity insurance won't stop a local authority ordering the removal of the building work or alterations.

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