Susan61

Notice of intention to issue Enforcement Action

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1 hour ago, Adsibob said:

I’m afraid i have little sympathy for this. I made life much more complicated for myself so that I could comply with PD, including waiting 18 weeks for the supply of roof tiles, and building things in an illogical order. If I were you I would order the tiles and fix the breach when they eventually arrive.

When we finally managed to speak to someone on the enforcement team, but not the compliance officer dealing with our case who wasn’t available,  his first words were that the Permitted Development criteria requiring visual matching to the existing roof is very subjective.   He didn’t seem to have a problem with the brown cladding but we are subject to the opinion of the other compliance officer.  We had used the brown cladding on these visual matching grounds and also because our own compliance officer told us that in times of supply issues they had granted leeway but at the time she stipulated tiles she didn’t think there was a problem.  The materials shortage had by this time made national news.  The point is she gave us an email address to write to if we had a problem and we followed this instruction and asked if we could use the brown cladding.  It would have taken 5 minutes to reply and say no.  We then wouldn’t have used it.  We waited a month for a reply.  Why issue is with an instruction to email and then completely ignore the email, leaving ourselves and the builder in limbo.  We tried to find a telephone number but none were on her email or on the Council’s automated switchboard.   We genuinely believed that as we hadn’t used white cladding as instructed we would be ok to use brown as the PD rules actually state the type of materials used don’t have to be the same only visually similar.

 

1 hour ago, Mr Punter said:

It will be a real pain to strip the cladding and tile it.  Have you worked out the cost?  It may be worth doing this and presenting the council with the costings and time involved to see if they could be swayed.  Paying thousands and throwing away perfectly good materials does not seem environmentally or financially responsible for the questionable benefit that may arise.

We have pointed out the impact on the environment, the carbon footprint and also the council’s resources on something which is in the words of their own team member very subjective. 

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6 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

I think this is a reference to the recent news that some branches of the nation state declined to intervene in the case of whole house theft through land registry fraud, yet another branch of the state is willing to criminalize a householder over a dispute about dormer window cladding.

Ah, I see. Google has updated me: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-59069662

I think the confusion here is that the spat between the new owner of that house and the original owner is indeed, very much a civil matter and that is likely to fail. You can't expect the police to turf out the purchaser if he is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice of the fraud. How would you feel if you had purchased a house in good faith and then the police turned up and told you, well because you purchased it from a fraudster, your purchase is invalid even though you were none the wiser, so you have to leave, even though you've paid £132k for the house to the fraudster.

Of course, there is fraud here and the fraudster should be investigated, but as long as the purchaser is innocent in it all, there is no remedy that can be taken against him/her.

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2 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

Ah, I see. Google has updated me: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-59069662

I think the confusion here is that the spat between the new owner of that house and the original owner is indeed, very much a civil matter and that is likely to fail. You can't expect the police to turf out the purchaser if he is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice of the fraud. How would you feel if you had purchased a house in good faith and then the police turned up and told you, well because you purchased it from a fraudster, your purchase is invalid even though you were none the wiser, so you have to leave, even though you've paid £132k for the house to the fraudster.

Of course, there is fraud here and the fraudster should be investigated, but as long as the purchaser is innocent in it all, there is no remedy that can be taken against him/her.

 

 

What an astonishing perspective, though I am not surprised in your case.

 

Respecting property ownership is a fundamental principal of our society that goes back centuries but not any more according to you. Owner A was clearly the rightful owner and since he never sold the house he must still be the owner by any normal sense of decency. Owner B is either the victim of a huge fraud or an accomplice in an elaborate scam, either way he should be forced out. Buyer beware and all that.

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17 minutes ago, Susan61 said:

We have pointed out the impact on the environment, the carbon footprint and also the council’s resources on something which is in the words of their own team member very subjective. 

 

 

Your case about their mal administration is convincing hence it can only be counter productive to throw in the extra fluff and trivia I just quoted above. Speculating about the council's capacity and motivation to challenge your actions will just prompt them to think "go on punk make my day".

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3 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

What an astonishing perspective, though I am not surprised in your case.

 

Respecting property ownership is a fundamental principal of our society that goes back centuries but not any more according to you. Owner A was clearly the rightful owner and since he never sold the house he must still be the owner by any normal sense of decency. Owner B is either the victim of a huge fraud or an accomplice in an elaborate scam, either way he should be forced out. Buyer beware and all that.

Not sure why you are taking it out on me; I was just trying to explain the law and show the other side of the coin, which is that IF the purchaser purchased without notice of the fraud, in good faith and did so for value, then he has good title to the property. As unfair as that may be, that is the law and has been for centuries, which is precisely how the ownership laws in this country work. You may be aware of the expression "the law is an ass". This is a good example. That doesn't however change the position. Absent parliament legislating to change the law, it is what it is and has been for centuries. Here's the definition of bona fide purchaser for value without notice:

 

image.png.921e7e0ed89c47ef38386e07b5cdc509.png

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

Not sure why you are taking it out on me; I was just trying to explain the law...

 

 

There must be a strong Norman lineage in your DNA, we Anglo-Saxons use a difference moral compass.

 

34 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

As unfair as that may be, that is the law and has been for centuries, which is precisely how the ownership laws in this country work.

 

 

This is not really the case, for centuries physical Deeds were proof of property title and ownership coupled with the principal of a Freeholder. Then the emerging Big State decided to get its money grabbing paws on the whole process of property ownership transactions which lead to the Land Registry and ultimately electronic Deeds.

 

We now live in a society where a freeholder can be dispossessed overnight due to a design error in the bureaucratic processes of the big state and when the Freeholder appeals to another branch of the state to uphold the principal of property ownership the paid retinues in service to the State slink away saying its complicated.

 

We may as well wind the clock right back to the Norman Yoke and decree all land is owned by the state and granted on the whim of state employees as a grace & favour.

 

In the political circles I move in there is a theory about the "New Feudalism" descending on our society because of declining social mobility. Our parents lived in a meritocracy but we live in some other social order. Now that property ownership and freeholder are ephemeral rights in your New World Order I fear the New Feudalism has arrived.

Edited by epsilonGreedy

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48 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

...

What an astonishing perspective, though I am not surprised in your case.

...

 

Play the ball, not the man eh?

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45 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

Your case about their mal administration is convincing hence it can only be counter productive to throw in the extra fluff and trivia I just quoted above. Speculating about the council's capacity and motivation to challenge your actions will just prompt them to think "go on punk make my day".

This reference was made to them in the context that we were surprised they had gone straight to enforcement rather than reply to our original email which would only have taken 5 minutes , given the possible impacts as mentioned above.

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47 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

 IF the purchaser purchased without notice of the fraud, in good faith and did so for value, then he has good title to the property.

I don't think it works that way when you buy a second hand car, so why should it for a house?

(Apologies for off-topic)

Edited by Roundtuit

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8 minutes ago, Susan61 said:

This reference was made to them in the context that we were surprised they had gone straight to enforcement rather than reply to our original email which would only have taken 5 minutes , given the possible impacts as mentioned above.

Councils seem to be going that way of defined procedures.

 

I had the similar recently, i had applied for our completion certificate. BCO had inspected and taken a few photos of things he was "not sure about".  Since I had been in contact with them by email, I had expected an email to tell me if there was anything I needed to attend to or change.  What actually happened was I got an official "refusal to issue completion certificate" because of 2 really trivial items.  So I had to correct the 2 items and then apply again for a completion certificate.  Absolute nonsense that involved me and no doubt them as well in more work.

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1 hour ago, Adsibob said:

purchase is invalid even though you were none the wiser, so you have to leave, even though you've paid £132k for the house to the fraudster

You cannot have a claim of ownership if the person that sold you the goods does not have the capacity to pass that ownership on.

Life would be a joke if anyone could sell anything not belonging to them, and the person who passed over the cash can just claim 'I paid for it'.

If that was the case, then I claim to have bought the whole of the UK, and I am about to send out the ground rent invoices.

So pay up.

Edited by SteamyTea
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2 hours ago, Adsibob said:

I would be more concerned with the fact that failure to comply with an enforcement notice is a criminal offence.

 

Indeed. Planning Authority have powers to issue fixed penalties or report for consideration of prosecution.  

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Roundtuit said:

I don't think it works that way when you buy a second hand car, so why should it for a house?

(Apologies for off-topic)

It’s exactly the same rule for any assets, if the formalities of registration are complied with. So for land, the conveyancer would need to do the necessary checks and comply with land registration requirements. For a car, there would be some papers to file with the DVLA such as the V5C document and you should also take care of the logbook, as that also evidences ownership (I think!). But if the fraudster has the logbook and forges the V5C, then the same rule would apply.

Edited by Adsibob

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10 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

You cannot have a claim of ownership if the person that sold you the goods does not have the capacity to pass that ownership on.

Life would be a joke if anyone could sell anything not belonging to them, and the person who passed over the cash can just claim 'I paid for it'.

If that was the case, then I claim to have bought the whole of the UK, and I am about to send out the ground rent invoices.

So pay up.


If you had the titles in your name then you own all of the UK. In this case legal title had transferred to the new owner as noted by HMLR. 
 

It’s worth noting that you can set an alert with HMLR so that you get emailed if there’s any change to your title. You can also pay a fee such that any agreed title change can only be approved if a solicitor confirms it’s valid. 

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28 minutes ago, Kelvin said:

It’s worth noting that you can set an alert with HMLR so that you get emailed if there’s any change to your title. 

 

 

It works very well. I get about 4 no-change emails a year and received a valid alert within a few working days of a valid change I had initiated via a solicitor.

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1 hour ago, Susan61 said:

This reference was made to them in the context that we were surprised they had gone straight to enforcement rather than reply to our original email which would only have taken 5 minutes , given the possible impacts as mentioned above.

 

 

Ok but it does sound similar to the situation of a motorist caught by a police speed trap complaining to the traffic officer roadside by saying why don'y you go and arrest some real criminals.

 

An enforcement officer at a council will be painfully aware of how many cases were dropped due to insufficient legal or financial resources. Challenging them on the limited resources point risks provoking them.

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1 hour ago, Stones said:

Indeed. Planning Authority have powers to issue fixed penalties or report for consideration of prosecution.  

 

 

This is the key phrase, the Council enforcement office cannot hand down a criminal conviction I assume.

 

It would be interesting to know what proportion of enforcement actions end up with the CPS and how many of those are dropped.

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I think you should stick to the relevant facts and not get into arguments that muddy the waters.

 

State why you believe you have complied with permitted development which asks for similar, not identical materials. Showing other examples of dormers in the area may also help in this case.

 

State the facts regarding the inability to source other materials and the fact that you did try to engage with the council re this but received no reply.

 

Arguments re the environment, waste of everyone's time and money etc will be considered irrelevant.

 

Hopefully this is enough for them to see sense.

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2 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

This is the key phrase, the Council enforcement office cannot hand down a criminal conviction I assume.

 

It would be interesting to know what proportion of enforcement actions end up with the CPS and how many of those are dropped.

 

Only a court can convict. If a fixed penalty is issued it is a conditional offer - by paying this fixed penalty we will not report for prosecution.

 

Ultimately, the purpose of an enforcement notice is to remedy the breach in planning control.  

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2 hours ago, AliG said:

I think you should stick to the relevant facts and not get into arguments that muddy the waters.

 

State why you believe you have complied with permitted development which asks for similar, not identical materials. Showing other examples of dormers in the area may also help in this case.

 

State the facts regarding the inability to source other materials and the fact that you did try to engage with the council re this but received no reply.

 

Arguments re the environment, waste of everyone's time and money etc will be considered irrelevant.

 

Hopefully this is enough for them to see sense.

 

Absolutely. Engage and stick to the facts. Difficult as it may be, emotion and thoughts of 'fairness' should be put to one side.

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22 hours ago, Susan61 said:

We have already been turned down for planning permission and advised to go down the Permitted Development route by the Council. 

 

That implies you changed the design before you built it in order to meet the Permitted Development rules. In that case a new retrospective planning application would be for the design that meets Permtted Development rules with the possible exception of the cladding. 

 

 

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Earlier I wrote..

On 03/11/2021 at 09:44, Temp said:

I suspect they have only issued another  "notice of intention to begin enforcement". 

 

You have multiple options...

 

1) Wait for formal enforcement and appeal on the grounds it's permitted development. 

 

2) Apply for a CLD on the grounds that it's permitted development. If refused Appeal.

 

3) Make a planning application. If refused Appeal.

 

4) Ignore them and hope they never actually issue enforcement.
 

 

I forgot to mention that enforcement action is suspended when you submit a planning application. So one option is to wait and see what happens. Meanwhile prepare a retrospective Planning Application so its ready to file if they actually initiate Enforcement action. If they haven't issued enforcement action within 4 years from completion you can apply for a Certificate of Lawful development on grounds that enforcement action cannot be initiated as time expired. Keep evidence of completion from Building Control.

 

If they refuse your retrospective Planning Application then Appeal. If that fails the enforcement action will restart but you still have time to comply. By then two years may have passed and tiles might be available again. But I reckon they will grant it at Appeal. I've seen far worse.

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