In preparation for selling your property it is good idea to ensure that you have all your certificates and guarantees available for the buyers to inspect. Certainly, the buyers’ solicitors will request copies of these documents during the transaction.
Replacement windows or doors
The FENSA – Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme was set up to ensure that all windows and doors comply with building regulations. It enables window installers to certify that windows comply without the need for a local authority inspection, which naturally saves time as well as ensuring greater compliance.
Windows or doors which have been replaced since 1st April 2002 must either be supported by a FENSA certificate or a building regulations certificate to show they have the appropriate sign off. If you have had replacement windows or doors installed since the new regulations came in and you do not hold a copy of the FENSA certificate then you can apply for a duplicate certificate directly from FENSA for a small charge or ask your solicitor to do this for you. Also, it would be worth checking if you hold a valid guarantee which normally lasts for a period of 10 years.
Naturally all electrical installations must be safe. ‘Part P of the Building Regulations’ applies to fixed electrical installations in dwellings (including gardens and shared amenities in blocks of flats, and any building that shares its electricity supply with a dwelling).
The building regulations allow certain minor works (known as non-notifiable work) to be carried out without having to notify building control or use a registered electrician. Notifiable work includes new installations, house re-wires, and the installation of new circuits. Also included are additions to existing circuits in kitchens, bathrooms, outdoors and in other special locations.
If you have had any of the notifiable work mentioned above carried out since 1st January 2005 it is likely you will be asked for a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate which would have been issued by ELECSA or NICEIC. If you do not hold a copy of the Compliance Certificate you can apply for a duplicate directly from ELECSA or NICEIC for a small charge or ask your Solicitor to do this for you.
The installation of a gas boiler requires the person installing the boiler to be Gas Safe Registered or a CORGI registered installer. This is due to the safety issues and the need for energy efficiency. This is generally achieved by employing an installer who is registered under one of the approved schemes.
After the work has been completed you should have received a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate. If you do not hold a copy of the Compliance Certificate you can apply for a duplicate directly from Gas Safe or CORGI for a small charge or ask your solicitor to do this for you.
Oil Fired Boilers
The installation of an Oil Fired Boiler requires the person installing the Boiler to be an OFTEC registered installer or other approved installer. Again, this is due to the safety issues and the need for energy efficiency. This is generally achieved by employing an installer who is registered under one of the approved schemes.
After the work has been completed you should have received a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate. If you do not hold a copy of the Compliance Certificate you can apply for a duplicate directly from OFTEC for a small charge or ask your Solicitor to do this for you.
In some circumstances planning permission and/or Building Regulations approval is required to add a conservatory to your property. It is always best to check with the Local Authority before carrying out any works to ensure that you have the necessary consents. A FENSA Certificate is not necessary for a conservatory although you should have received a guarantee for the installation.
It is worth noting that you can either own your solar panels outright or you may have a lease of your roof space. If you do have solar panels, it is a good idea to ask your solicitor to check the position for you.
If you own your solar panels outright you will normally be asked for a receipt for the purchase, a copy of the Building Regulations Approval or Compliance Certificate for the installation, a copy of the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) Installer Certificate, a copy of the Electrical Certificate together with the guarantee. These should have been passed to you after the solar panels were installed. You will also be required to provide details of your Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT) scheme.
Cavity Wall Insulation
If you have had cavity wall insulation fitted by a registered installer the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) would have provided a 25 year guarantee in respect of the same. If you do not hold a copy of the guarantee you can apply for a duplicate directly from CIGA for a small charge or ask your Solicitor to do this for you
Energy Performance Certificate
If you are constructing, selling or letting a property you will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (although there are some exceptions), which provides details on the energy performance of the property and what you can do to improve it. An estate agent will normally organise this for you or you can find an energy assessor on the EPC Register online. It lasts for 10 years so if there has been a previous certificate you do not need to provide a new one.
Properties under 10 years old
If you are selling a property under 10 years old, your solicitors will be asked to provide a copy of the planning permission and Building Regulations Approval together with a copy of the Building Regulations Completion Certificate unless this is incorporated within the structural warranty like NHBC or other similar providers. As an alternative to a structural warranty you may have an Architect’s Certificate.
If you have carried out any structural alterations to your property no doubt you would have checked whether planning permission or building regulations approval was required. You will be asked for copies of all relevant consents.
There is an Interactive house on the planning portal website which is guidance on planning permission and building control for householders. This is a useful tool as you can click on any area of the house and it explains what consents you are likely to need for various works.
This is not an exhaustive list and further documents may be requested if you have carried out any further works.
This article was written by our Licensed Covneyancer, Marie Moore, who is based in our Launceston office. If you would like to discuss any of the information mentioned in the article then you can contact Marie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone on 01566 771117.
For all your legal needs, contact WBW Solicitors today.