The Importance of Keeping Certificates
There’s nothing worse than wading through a full filofax of paperwork, bills, and statements – we’re all guilty of getting rid of paperwork we deem ‘unnecessary’ – BUT, it’s worth remembering that it may be needed in the future when you sell your property.
Building regulations change over time, and what might have been acceptable in the past is likely to now be governed by new regulations.
For example, since 2005, double glazed windows now require a FENSA certificate that confirms the new windows comply with building regulations. It is therefore important you ensure the tradesman instructed on the job is regulated by FENSA regulations so that they will provide you with a completion certificate once the work is done. Although it is tempting to instruct a friend for cheap (we’ve all been there!) it can end up costing you in the long run when potential purchasers or mortgage lenders ask for the paperwork.
Which Certificates to Keep
Below are a list of the most common certificates you should obtain when undertaking work:
- Gas safe certificate for the installation of a boiler and gas fires.
- Electrical certificates
- FENSA certificates for windows
- Planning permission and Building control certificates– this includes extensions, removal of load bearing walls, change of use, etc. (planning permission may be required for a conservatory depending on the size and brick work of the conservatory so it’s worth checking).
- Building work guarantees – for example cavity wall insulation or a damp proof course.
- NHBC certificate or similar warranty – this applies to New Build Properties, if you sell a new build property within the first 10 years the warranty will still be valid and therefore it will need to be passed to any potential purchaser.
- Solar panel installation paperwork including a MCS certificate and Feed in Tariff details.
- HETAS certificate for installation of wood burners or oil fired boilers.
There will of course be instances where certificates were not obtained or have been misplaced – it is possible to obtain an additional copy from the local council or even the installer (if they hold one) however they will likely charge for this.
If no certificate was ever produced you can look at obtaining an Indemnity Insurance policy which will cover the buyer from any enforcement action for the lack of certificate however this only covers them financially for action taken, it doesn’t cover them if anything is structurally wrong with the works.
If you are unsure whether you need planning or building regulations for works you are thinking of undertaking, contact your local building control team on the council and they will point you in the right direction, saving you time and money in the future!
Amber Rainford | Residential Property TeamResidential Property Team