Sometimes in this job you’re involved in a cracking tale. And this is such. I’ve got clearance from the person concerned for it’s go-ahead – names, counties and auctioneers omitted!
• I’m approached via email enquiring on my interest on providing architectural services on the construction of a replacement dwelling where the existing house was to be demolished and a new house to the Passivhaus standard to be constructed.
• An offer on the purchase of the existing house had been accepted.
• Before I met with the client or property or even before providing a quotation as a matter of course and due-diligence I did a bit of research
• The house was Victorian and needed extensive renovation/refurbishment; other structures in vicinity of same age were protected structures (Listed Buildings in the UK). Initially I couldn’t find the building in question on the Protected Structures list.
• Something didn’t ring true and I dug deeper correlating Maps with Protected Structure Lists and YES. It was there. The property was indeed a Protected Structure. This is a big game changer concerning what you can do to the property. ps What threw me was that the property had a BER certificate even though Protected Structures are exempt from requiring them.
• I informed the potential client and the auctioneer had in fact failed to advertise that the property was indeed a Protected Structure. The client has withdrawn offer and is contemplating the next stage.
• Hire a professional. It took me, as a registered architect, accredited in conservation AND a Certified Passivhaus Designer a little bit of research to ascertain the facts to ensure the client doesn’t waste hundreds of thousands in a misleading property purchase.
• If someone does this type of research for you, without charge – thank them (bottle of alcohol arrived forthwith from the gent of a client)
• Be careful buying property in Ireland or you could end up with a ‘pig in a poke’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_in_a_poke)
• The tale has not yet ended – watch this space.