When a 4 bed becomes a 3 bed

Went sale agreed on a property in Dublin.

Got a thorough surveyor and he advised that the converted attic was not a habitable bedroom (without possibility of turning it into one).

We asked to negotiate the price; as clearly this will have an impact on the future price when we go to sell. Our solicitor advised us that the title registration would have to state ‘3 bed’ and clearly we would have to get another bank valuation too XX

The EA phoned to say that they don’t want to negotiate the price and that we needed to sign the contact by Fri or else

Interested in people’s views on this type of scenario - probably not too uncommon these days with the number of attic conversions.

Looks like this one will go back onto the market. Who’s betting that they’ll list it as a 4 bed despite being on notice that it’s not!?

My understanding was that one can NEVER advertise an attic room as a bedroom. Is that not the case?

You can if it meets building regs. Has to be certified as such.

Print the brochure so you have a copy.
Outline the facts in an email to the EA

  • you advertised it as a 4 bed
  • you showed it to me in a viewing as a 4 bed
  • I advised you of the serious factual inaccuracy
  • I invited you to ask your clients to reduce the price to reflect the diminution in value
  • your clients rejected this and imposed a deadline
    I am seriously dissatisfied with your conduct and the manner in which you knowingly misadvertised the property. I have incurred expenses of X and time etc due to your failures and your client’s conduct
  • what’s your response ?

I’m currently sale agreed with a similar issue. Ad said 4 bed, but in fairness, at the viewing the EA said attic probably wouldn’t be allowed as a bedroom (and it wasn’t)

You can still use it obviously as a bedroom but when you go to resell down the road it’s a 3 bed…or do what they did…

Id also report the EA to the ombudsman, if they are covered by it

There is nothing you can do about the expenses. If you don’t buy this house will you have to deal with this EA again. You need to make up your mind how much it is worth as 3 be with a good office in the attic. That can be used for visitors too. How much did you look for off. Either buy it or walk. Too soon be be signing contracts you have to call that bluff.

Attics are a minefield. i recall a 60 page thread on the archiseek forum arguing the minutiae of this very topic. My understanding is for an attic conversion to be considered a habitable room it has to:
Have planning permission and been constructed as per permitted plans
A fire safety cert as you are turning a two story building into a three storey one
Been certified to conform with the relevant building regs

Anything less and it can only be marketed as storage space. This is Estate Agency 101 stuff.

It’s not the EA that matters here, it’s the sellers. And they now know that their house is not a four bed but are ‘refusing to accept it’.

Therefore, they refused to provide any discount on the asking price and are willing to put it back on the market next Monday.


We asked for a 4% reduction and were even prepared to settle for less but the sellers have just told us today that the market has likely gone up and they want to put it back on the market.

Anyone free to hold a sign saying ‘THIS IS A 3 BED’ next weekend?? :angry:

This is one of the biggest Estate Agents going and I bet that they put this back on the market as a four bed

I don’t think buying a house under an ultimatum would ever sit well with me, I’d walk.

Yep, we have. I pity the people who do buy this place now. They may not find out about the 4th bedroom or the expensive drains issues.