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More than half of UK home owners don’t bother about permission for extensive work

Over half, some 57%, of UK home owners say they’ve had extensive work done on their properties and of these, almost a fifth are unsure if they got the correct permissions, new research has found.

Overall 15% of home owners didn’t know if the work such as an extension, conservatory, loft conversion or garage, was permissible and of these some 29% said they risked it because they knew they’d get away with it.

The study from Co-op Insurance also found that 19% believed they did not need permission, 14% didn’t even think about it and 9% said they didn’t bother as they thought it would cost them money while a further 20% of home owners didn’t let their insurers know about the changes.

There has been a trend recently of renovating or extending homes rather than moving and the study raises concerns about the amount of work being done without the relevant authorisations.

It shows that 43% are planning on future building work and of these 18% would risk not getting relevant consent and the biggest reason for not seeking permission was a belief that they would get away with it with 29% of home owners saying this.

Some 25% said they did not find out if they needed permission for work as they believe it would slow down the work while 27% believed it would increase the cost and 19% said permission did not seem important.

But women are more likely than men to get the relevant consent for their buildings work with just 7% of women opting out of getting consent compared to 9% of men.

Furthermore, 20% said they did not let their insurers know about the work they were having done and 13% could not say for sure either way.

‘It’s really important that home owners get the correct permissions and let their insurers know when extensive building work such as conservatories, extensions and loft conversions are taking place,’ said Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance for Co-op Insurance.

‘That way, if anything was to go wrong with the property, either whilst the building work is ongoing or once it’s completed, it will be covered by their insurer,’ she added.