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How to Sell a House Without Planning Permission

Selling a home without planning permission can be a headache for some owners who have made changes without the right authorisation, and it may even put potential buyers off, or cause sales to fall through.

So, what are your options? That’s the purpose of this guide, which looks at how to sell a house without planning permission. 

What is planning permission?

Put simply, planning permission is the green light you need from your local council before you can start building or changing things on your property. Whether you want to stick on an extension, build a new conservatory, convert your garage into a bedroom or give your home a mega-makeover – you’ll might need permission first – depending on the specifications of the change.

It’s how councils keep tabs on what gets built and make sure what goes up meets all the fiddly rules on design, safety, neighbourhood impact and more. It’s basically paperwork, forms and waiting around. But rules exist for good reason. Jump through the hoops, and both you and the community will be happier with the end result. A world without planning permission

Can I make changes without planning permission?

Small cosmetic tweaks are fine. Generally, you don’t need paperwork for minor indoor updates like painting walls or switching up kitchen cabinets. But start knocking down external walls or making major structural changes, and it’s best to contact your council or a local architect to check if you would need planning permission. If the changes are relatively small, permission may not be needed.

Large garden upgrades like new outbuildings probably need the green light, too. And be cautious about converting spaces like lofts and garages into actual living areas – whilst tempting, rules exist to stop unsafe dwellings. Ultimately, get in touch with your local authority before wielding the sledgehammer. They can guide you on what’s allowed and ensure your home improvements are done fairly and legally.

What happens if I make major changes without planning permission?

There are substantive legal and financial risks to making major property changes without first securing proper planning approvals. Carrying out unpermitted building works or renovations can prompt enforcement action, including orders to reverse the developments entirely at your own cost, as well as civil penalties. 

Additionally, attempting to sell or let a non-compliant property could significantly obstruct transactions once buyers conduct due diligence and may necessitate lowering the listing price. While bureaucratic frustrations understandably push some to overlook consent requirements, acting without permissions often creates exacerbated stresses down the line. It’s strongly advised that you consult your local authority first regarding development regulations to avoid considerable issues.

Can I sell my house without planning permission?

If you’re considering potential building projects, like a kitchen extension or converting a garage, you don’t necessarily need planning permission to sell your property (although it might be beneficial). 

However, suppose you’ve already completed any extensions or work. In that case, it’s crucial to have the appropriate planning permission documentation when selling or to demonstrate that it was a “permitted development”, which doesn’t require permission.

Lacking planning permission evidence? You might want to think about getting indemnity insurance, especially if you don’t have it yet. This can safeguard both you and any prospective buyer from issues arising from the absence of the required documents. 

It’s also worth verifying if your project qualifies as “permitted development” or if you can obtain retrospective permission. It’s essential to do thorough research and seek advice from experts if necessary – planning permission is a serious matter.

What is a permitted development?

Enhancements classified as permitted development (PD) don’t necessitate an application for permission or obtaining consent. Permitted development includes works that would typically need planning permission but are considered to have been already approved under a general permitted development order.

What can I do if I’m trying to sell a home without planning permission?

A way to avoid potential issues is to secure planning permission or council approval before selling your home or listing it on the market. However, this approach has its limitations, particularly as the regularisation process isn’t applicable for work completed before October 1985.

This situation can be tricky; what initially seems like just missing paperwork can turn into a more complex and costly issue. If the necessary corrective work isn’t carried out, a Certificate of Regularisation won’t be issued. This often deters buyers, as many are reluctant to get involved in such a complicated matter.

How much does getting council approval cost?

The cost of getting planning permission from the council in the UK varies based on the development type and size. Here’s an overview of common costs:

  • In England, a standard householder application costs £258.
  • In Wales, this application is priced at £190.
  • For a full planning permission application in England, the fee is £624 per dwelling.
  • An outline planning application in England costs £462 per dwelling.

Remember, these are just the application fees. Additional expenses can include design and survey costs, plus fees for a planning consultant, which start at around £1,500.

Also, using the Planning Portal online to submit your application incurs a service charge of £53.33 (+ VAT). Local authorities might also add extra fees upon application or approval. These are often included in a Section 106 agreement. It’s wise to consult a solicitor for these legal charges. To get an accurate fee for your project, it’s best to reach out to your local planning authority for the exact cost upon submitting your application.

How long does it take to get approval?

Obtaining approval won’t be swift or straightforward, which isn’t helpful for anyone seeking a quick sale of their house. The process of getting a response from the council or inspectors about your request can span months, and even after the wait, there’s no assured guarantee of receiving approval.

What other options do I have for selling my house without planning permission?

If you’re after a quick sale but planning permission is holding you back, Property Rescue can help. We buy all types of properties, including those that need planning permission. Even better, we can facilitate a sale in as little as 48 hours and even take care of all the paperwork. 

That means there’s zero stress for you, and you can rest assured that the sale will go through smoothly and quickly. On the other hand, selling a property without planning permission on the traditional sales market can take longer and reduce interest. But with Property Rescue, you get a guaranteed sale and can focus on what you’d like to do after selling your home. 

Summary: Selling a house without planning permission

Selling your house without planning permission can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Get a free, no-obligation quote with Property Rescue and see how much you can sell your house for without needing to get planning permission first. 

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