Unfortunately, it is too late – VOETSTOOTS

New real estate guidance platform flags illegal structures to home buyers.

Archicheck, an online platform developed and maintained by architecture firm, Archimedes Design – aims to address an existing void in the real-estate industry by warning prospective home buyers and property agents if a home is noncompliant with national building regulations.

This information is generally hard to come by, but should be deemed as essential information, because buildings that do not fall within the guidelines imposed by the local council may be illegal, explains Sheldon Jennings – architect and founder of the platform.

“The platform asks users to enter the physical address, size of the property and the square meterage of the existing building into a user-friendly interface. It then cross references this information against the local building restrictions and provides a report of the zoning, remaining permissible coverage, height restrictions and boundary lines of the site within 48 hours.

“Most importantly, the report will also alert the user if the existing home already exceeds the permissible coverage, which likely means that a part of the building has not been approved by the local building council.”

Jennings warns that far too often homes are sold without the buyer having cross referenced the structure against the existing building plans to ensure that it has been approved by the local council. “In fact, sometimes people purchase a property without having laid eyes on any building plans at all. This can have catastrophic repercussions down the line, both from a financial and timeline perspective.”

It’s usually only when the new home owner begins the process of renovating, that he or she becomes aware of the fact that they have purchased an unapproved structure, explains Jennings.

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