Can I build with­out go­ing through the parish coun­cil?

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE - Craig Fran­cis is a com­mis­sioned land sur­veyor and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Pre­ci­sion Sur­vey­ing Ser­vices Ltd. He can be con­tacted for ques­tions or queries at craig_r_fran­cis@ya­hoo.com or Pre­ci­sion Sur­vey­ing Ser­vices

GOOD DAY, read­ers. Thanks for the con­tin­ued sup­port of this col­umn. I ask that you ex­er­cise some pa­tience with us as we try to get to all your ques­tions in a timely man­ner. This week I re­spond to a reader’s ques­tion re­gard­ing ap­proval to re­model their prop­erty.

Hi Mr Fran­cis, Read your ar­ti­cles all the time.

If a home­owner en­closes a garage that was pre­vi­ously grilled off and makes it into a room, does he need to get ap­proval from the parish coun­cil?

If he wants to add a bath­room to the back of the house, what kind of per­mis­sion would be re­quired (if any)? Thanks for your help. C.R

Good day C.R, This is a ques­tion that is asked by many, and not just of me but of ar­chi­tects and draughts­men alike. The first thing I will look into, of course, is what does the re­stric­tive covenant says.

There are many com­mu­ni­ties where you are al­lowed to have a garage built very near to the bound­ary lines, as long as it is done so with ‘grill’. If you change that ma­te­rial to, say, con­crete so as to make the struc­ture into, say, a room, then you will have a breach of the re­stric­tive covenant. So the first thing I would sug­gest you do is to check the re­stric­tive covenants on your cer­tifi­cate of ti­tle. If the re­stric­tive covenant does not al­low it, then you will have to ei­ther re­con­sider that plan or try to have the covenant mod­i­fied or re­moved from the cer­tifi­cate of ti­tle so that you can pro­ceed with your plans.

As to your more sub­stan­tive ques­tion about trans­form­ing a grilled-up area, con­vert­ing it into a room, if per­mis­sion is needed from the lo­cal au­thor­ity, the an­swer is yes. Any mod­i­fi­ca­tion on your build­ing that will af­fect the ex­te­rior or the roof will re­quire you to sub­mit draw­ings for ap­proval from your lo­cal au­thor­ity. So that would also ap­ply for the ad­di­tion of a room to the rear of the house. You should not un­der­take any con­struc­tion or mod­i­fi­ca­tion to your build­ing struc­ture un­less you have sought and re­ceived ap­proval from your lo­cal au­thor­ity.

You are al­lowed to ef­fect cos­metic changes and in­te­rior de­sign changes with­out per­mis­sion from your lo­cal au­thor­ity; how­ever, you need ap­proval for pretty much any­thing else you want to do where con­struc­tion is con­cerned on your prop­erty. Even to con­struct cer­tain walls re­quire lo­cal ap­proval.

So to ‘add on’ the bath­room, you will re­quire build­ing ap­proval and per­mit to do any con­struc­tion of the kind. If you don’t seek ap­proval, then a stop or­der can be is­sued to you and you pay a fine, then have to sub­mit draw­ings for ap­proval. If the build­ing is not up to the re­quired code, then you can be in­structed to de­mol­ish what has been con­structed al­ready. So I urge you to seek ap­proval be­fore at­tempt­ing any­thing of the sort.

My ad­vice, get the req­ui­site draw­ing, meet the re­quired stan­dards by the lo­cal au­thor­ity and sub­mit your draw­ings be­fore em­bark­ing on any such project. How­ever, first check your re­stric­tive covenants to see if what you want to do is al­lowed.

Un­til next time, tra­verse well.

You are al­lowed to ef­fect cos­metic changes and in­te­rior de­sign changes with­out per­mis­sion from your lo­cal au­thor­ity; how­ever, you need ap­proval for pretty much any­thing else you want to do where con­struc­tion is con­cerned on your prop­erty.

FRAN­CIS

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