Property development / refurbishment checklist

If you are buying a property with a view to developing or refurbishing it, or buying a recently refurbished property, you need to make sure:

  • you can carry out the work you want to carry out, and
  • the seller has complied with the requisite obligations.

Your checklist

Legal title

  • do you need to obtain any body's permission to carry out works?
  • are there any restrictions on the work you wish to carry out?
  • can you access the land for the works or is access limited?

Utility restrictions

  • are there any utility pipes that affect the property?
  • water supply.
    • If there are public drains or mains near to the property, you may not be able to build at all, or must obtain permission.
    • With the change in responsibility for private drains in 2012, pipes that were previously private may now be public and any proposed works subject to the utility company’s consent.
  • electricity or gas pipes may affect the ability to undertake works.


  • is planning permission required?
  • is building control required?
  • are specialist permissions required eg listed building or conservation consent.


New buildings, or newly converted buildings, require a warranty.

  • The provision of a warranty is usually a mortgage requirement, but even if you are not purchasing with a mortgage, any future sale may involve mortgage finance.

If you would like further clarification or assistance, call us for free and without obligation.

Please telephone and speak to one of our property lawyers for free on 0800 037 1625 or fill in the online form to request a call back and someone will ring you within 24 hours.

You can access any of our property lawyers at any of our offices spread throughout Surrey, Hampshire and Greater London including Kingston upon Thames, Bordon, Cheam, Canary Wharf, Leatherhead, Raynes Park, Surbiton, Tolworth or Walton on Thames.