Homeowners fail to get permission for building work: don’t get caught out

3 April 2017

Brits carrying out major home improvements are skimping on getting the right building consents and planning permission, a new survey has revealed.

Of the 57% of Brits who carry out building work, including extending their home, building a conservatory, converting a loft or adding a garage, 15% admit that they are not sure that they have permission, according to the study by Co-op Insurance.

Almost a third (29%) of those who say they’ve carried out home improvements without the right consents admit that they’ve done this because they knew they could get away with it, while a fifth didn’t bother letting their home insurer know about the work.

A quarter said they would go ahead without permission as applying for consent would slow down the work, while 9% said they didn’t apply for permission because they knew it would cost them more money.


This survey comes in the wake of research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders that showed a decline in house-buying activity in January. This means homeowners are likely to improve their home if they’re not moving. The Co-op poll backs this up, revealing that 43% are planning on future building work and of these 18% would risk not getting relevant consent.

Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance for Co-op Insurance, says: “It’s really important that homeowners get the correct permissions and let their insurers know when extensive building work such as conservatories, extensions and loft conversions are taking place. That way, if anything was to go wrong with the property, either while the building work is ongoing or once it’s completed, it will be covered by their insurer.”


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