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Selling a house without a Building Regulations Certificate can be a complex process that requires careful consideration and proper documentation. If you are looking to sell your property and your certificate is lost, you should contact your local authority to obtain a duplicate. However, if the certificate was never issued by the builder, you might […]
02 January 2024
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Selling a house without a Building Regulations Certificate can be a complex process that requires careful consideration and proper documentation. If you are looking to sell your property and your certificate is lost, you should contact your local authority to obtain a duplicate. However, if the certificate was never issued by the builder, you might need to address this with them or consider alternative solutions. In this article, we delve into why you need a building regulation certificate when selling your home and what to do if you don’t have one.
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Building Regulations Certificates, also known as completion certificates, are crucial documents that confirm the compliance of construction work with safety and quality standards, as specified by the Building Control Department of the Local Authority. The certificate is typically obtained after a building control officer or inspector has inspected the completed construction work and verified that it meets the required standards. This includes aspects such as structural stability, fire safety, electrical installations, plumbing, ventilation, and insulation.
The Building Regs 10-year rule is a key to knowing whether you need have a copy of a building’s regulation certificate to sell your property. While there is no set time period for which a Local Authoirty can take action, after ten years, it is unlikely that any legal action will be taken. This means that if the work on your property was carried out over ten years ago, you may not need a certificate. Your conveyancer will be able to advise on whether you will need to obtain a Building Regulations Certificate.
If you are missing a Building Regulations Certificate, you can request one from your Local Authority or building inspector. You might have to pay an administrative charge when requesting a copy of a previously issued building regulation certificate from your Local Authority Building Control department. If you are not sure if a completion certificate was issued, the first port of call would be your Local Authority.
In cases where building regulations were followed but no certificate was obtained, it is worth gathering as much evidence as you can, such as architectural drawings and photographs, to demonstrate compliance. If a certificate was not issued at the time, a reinspection may be required, where a surveyor assesses your property to make sure it is compliant with regulations. Each Local Authority will have a set timescale on how long ago the works have to be completed for a regularisation (retrospective building control approval) application to be permitted. This is typically no more than 15 years.
One solution, other than regularisation, is to explore indemnity insurance, which is a special insurance policy that protects the buyer against any financial loss resulting from a lack of compliance with building regulations. While this doesn’t replace the need for the certificate, it can be relatively inexpensive and provides a safeguard for you as the seller, which enables a smooth sales process (the policy can only be taken out if the works were carried out more than 12 months previous). The fee for the indemnity policy is typically paid by the seller (the cost of the poilcy directly related to the price of the property) and it is worth noting that the insurance policy doesn’t cover the cost for remediation of substandard words, which means that If it is found that the works do not meet building regulation standards, you may find yourself responsible for footing the bill of any remedial work. Your conveyancer will be able to assist with arranging an indemnity policy for the sale of your home.
If your building works don’t meet regulations, you may be asked to make the necessary changes to make the work compliant, which will come as an extra cost to you. In some cases, the authorities may even issue a fine or take legal action against you. In terms of selling, failing to provide the necessary building regulations certificate can mean you can’t sell your house, although the ability to get a mortgage without a building regulation certificate will be dependent on the lender chosen by the buyer. However, lack of compliance can also affect the property’s value and marketability.
As a seller, addressing these issues proactively, being forthright with potential buyers, and exploring solutions like indemnity insurance can help navigate the complexities of selling a house without a Building Regulations Certificate. When considering selling a home without a Building Regulations Certificate, it’s crucial to be transparent with potential buyers about the situation. Some buyers may accept the risk, especially if indemnity insurance is in place, while others may be more cautious.
From mortgages and insurance to viewings, offers, exchange and completion, our Buyers’ Guide will take you through everything, step by step, from start to finish.
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