Buy-to-let property owners across Britain who shelved plans to sell their accommodation following the decision to leave the European Union are being told to think carefully about improvement plans.
Many investment owners have decided to make changes to their property instead of looking to offload, with prices slowing following the vote. However, a leading conveyancing lawyer has urged landlords to think ahead before starting extension or refurbishment or risk voiding their landlord insurance conditions.
Peter Simner, a partner at West Midlands-based firm mfg solicitors has reminded investors to remember to obtain correct permissions and to comply with planning rules.
Mr Simner noted, ‘statistics show that June’s Brexit vote has knocked around £3,600 off house prices for now, which means people are being tempted by extensions and loft conversions. That can certainly be a good idea while the country adjusts to the implications of leaving the European Union but a br-extension comes with its own risks and pitfalls and is not to be entered into lightly.’
Simner has urged investors looking to make changes to their property to ensure that any work is done in accordance to local authority Planning and Building Regulations. Adding features such as conservatories to porches could become issues should work fall foul of development parameters.
Installation features such as windows, boilers or fires will require specific documentation.
‘Problems with missing or incorrect documentation do not manifest themselves until it comes to selling a property, which is when the buyers’ solicitors start asking questions and requiring proof of permission, all of which can significantly delay transactions, Simner continued. 
Concluding, he said, ‘worse, if the local authority takes enforcement action it can all result in thousands of pounds spent to either get the consent or undo the work. My advice, as we see more people considering extensions in the current market, is that home owners need to tick every box and stick closely to all development rules to avoid any long term issues with their property. It is surprising how many in the country are missing vital details.’