Wednesday, 22 April 2009

What is a letter of comfort

Letters of Comfort were introduced in the 1990's to provide a kind of amnesty to people who had carried out unauthorised alterations prior to the Building Regulation update of 1990. It was meant as a temporary measure and essentially was a letter from the local authority which confirmed they would not be prosecuting you for the unauthorised alteration. Thus giving comfort and allowing a house sale to proceed. This temporary measure still exists some 19 years later. This has allowed some unscrupulous individuals to simply build without a building warrant and then apply for a cheap letter of comfort to allow house sales to proceed. Unfortunately, some local authorities now find LoCs to be so lucrative that they are very unwilling to stop the process. There is however a new procedure on the horizon "a completion certificate where no warrant was issued" this is more robust in terms of compiance with Building Regulation, more intrusive in terms of inspection and more expensive, so will not be popular with the public. It is coming though and should see the demise of the LoC. So if you have any unauthorized alterations to your home you would be wise to sort it out now whilst we still have the cheap and easy option.

before you build it . . .Plan-it

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