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You may not be able to sell your property without it!

10 Mar

It is often said one of the most stressful events in life is moving home. You put your property on the market, negotiate a sale and then find out what the solicitors need. Suddenly everything seems confusing and you have to find all sorts of documents requested by the buyer’s solicitors. Lots of the documents involved are certificates proving compliance: certificates for electrical work, gas certificates, building regulations and a very important one, your FENSA certificate!

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Over the years you might find some of these certificates have been mislaid or even lost.  However, one thing you don’t have to worry about is your FENSA certificate. If you have had replacement windows or doors installed in your property by a FENSA registered company since April 2002, you will certainly have received your FENSA certificate

FENSAlogoFENSA keep a record of all registered installations so if you can’t put your hand on your certificate, you don’t need to panic. Just by entering your postcode on the FENSA website, you will be able to order a replacement. Your FENSA certificate acts as documentary evidence that your installation has been self-certified as complying with the Building regulations. At least one part of the stressful procedure can be eliminated.

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So, when you use a FENSA registered fitter, you can be sure your windows or doors are being supplied and fitted to the Building Regulations standards and not only that, if and when you sell your property you will have a FENSA certificate ready for the solicitors!

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The FENSA Certificate

14 Nov

We have had a lot of inquiries on our social media lately about replacement FENSA certificates, so we thought now would be a good time to remind everyone about how important it is.

cert-pic fensa

If your property has had replacement double glazing since April 2002, you should have proof that the windows conform to Building Regulations. This can be achieved in one of two ways; with a FENSA certificate or Local Authority Building Control (LABC) approval.

Proof that your replacement windows conform to Building Regulations is crucial should you decide to sell your property. You cannot sell without it. Your buyer’s solicitor will ask for that evidence before the sale can progress. It may be that you are a very organised person and have all your household certificates and receipts to hand so this will prove to be very straightforward. However, if you have misplaced your certificate, the situation may become more complicated. Selling your home is said to be as stressful as getting married or divorced, a death in the family or serious money issues, so any extra anxiety is certainly to be avoided.

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This is where the FENSA certificate comes in to its own. If the windows were fitted by a FENSA registered company and you have the certificate, you are sorted! If you have lost or mislaid it, you are still sorted as you can go on the FENSA website and for a small fee order a replacement. There should be no delay to the sale of your property as your replacement FENSA certificate will be with you within ten days.

The same scenario works the other way round if you are buying a property. Make sure your solicitor checks the vendor has the necessary certificates as you don’t want to find out later in the sale, there is going to be a delay. Once again if the windows have been fitted by a FENSA registered company, it should only take a few days to get a replacement certificate.

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If however, the windows haven’t been inspected and there is no proof they are compliant with Building Regulations then there may be a considerable delay in the proceedings, as they will have to be inspected and passed by the relevant LABC. Unfortunately it is often at this stage that the windows are found to be non-compliant and have to be rectified. This can be costly and time consuming.

So it is very important to check out the compliance of any replacement glazing early on in the sale or purchase of a property.

Your FENSA certificate makes life easier and is an important document.

Keep it safe!

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Calling Estate Agents…

31 May

It can be tough valuing a home, or justifying that value to a customer. One of the big factors is the state of the home’s windows. Ask yourself, are they:

  • Single glazed?
  • Double glazed?
  • Triple glazed?
  • Are the seals ok?
  • Do they suffer with condensation?
  • What ventilation is in the room?
  • Have they been fitted since April 2002?
  • Do they have a FENSA certificate?

These are simple questions, but questions that can help value a home and potentially stop a sale stalling at a later stage.

shutterstock_116266666 house for sale

Building regulations

Replacement windows and doors have to meet building regulations (since April 2002). These regulations cover a wide spectrum of issues, including safety, ventilation and thermal heat retention qualities. If the windows / doors have been fitted after April 2002, then as an Estate Agent, you may need evidence that these new windows / doors meet regulatory compliance.

 

Making sure of a sale

A buyer’s solicitor will need evidence that replacement windows and doors meet regulations, if they cannot be given such evidence, the sale could:

  • Fall through, as the buyer will pull out
  • Stall, until the home owner has received certification (even if this means the home owner must pay for work to be carried out)
  • Stall, until the buyer agrees a new lower price for the sale, covering their costs for any work that may need to be carried out on windows / doors of the property.

There are two forms of evidence that are accepted by a solicitor, and these are: 

  • Home owner has a FENSA certificate 
  • Home owner has documentation from their local building authority stating compliance

An estate agent can pre-empt this documentation necessity, and inform the home owner that they will need this proof. A FENSA certificate can be simply re-ordered from the FENSA website, which ensures a sale doesn’t stall.

You can re order a certificate here http://fensa.org.uk/asp/certificate.asp

If though, the home owner doesn’t have a FENSA certificate, nor was the work carried out by a FENSA registered installer, then they will need to get in touch with their local authority building control – and it is best to do this sooner rather than later.

Inspection of the properties windows /doors may be required, and if so, this can take a little time to organise and at a cost to the home owner. If the windows then pass the regulations, the appropriate evidence will be created. If on the other hand the windows / doors do not meet the necessary regulations, then the problems must be rectified, or the home owner made aware that their home may be de-valued by any buyer.

Whatever the scenario, it is far better to address the issue sooner rather than later in the cycle of selling a property.

 

Recommendation

To all Estate Agents, we recommend that you inform your clients that they should expect to have to produce evidence that replacement windows and doors (since April 2002), meet building regulations. This evidence can be provided by a FENSA certificate or by appropriate documentation from local authority building control. If this evidence is not available, then the home owner should look into the situation as soon as possible.

We also recommend that home owners are aware of why they should use a FENSA registered installer for replacement windows and door installations. A good blog to recommend / read on this is: https://fensafitters.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/why-use-a-fensa-firm/

Spring: Moving Home

16 Mar

There is something about spring that makes us want to get on and do things. Whatever the reason, be it the beginning of warmer days, more daylight or simply the idea of spring being a time for renewal – it’s a really popular time to move home.

Moving house is that time when you learn more about your home, in terms of what it’s worth, what work needs doing, and even what work should have been done. Estate Agents may get a bad rep from time to time, but remember they do come round and evaluate all aspects of your home.

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Value of your home

The value of your home is determined by many factors, and a good local Estate Agent will be able to explain why your home is valued at what it is. Some of the factors you must consider yourself though, excluding the obvious such as your home’s location, outbuildings, land etc. include:
• The decor in each room
• The state and type of windows you have
• The level of insulation your home has (and / or energy rating)

The decor in each room may have an influence on how easy it is to sell your home, but it is essentially something that is quite simple to change. Unfortunately, it is not as simple to change the home’s windows and doors. These really do have an impact on the value of a home, especially if they are single glazed, need replacing or have been replaced and do not meet building regulations.

Documentation an Estate Agent / Solicitor may want to see

An Estate Agent will value your home, but to do so, they may want to see certain documentation that provides proof that certain elements within your home fit with building regulations. Popular documentation requested includes:

• Certification of Gas appliances
• Certification of any electrical re-wiring
• Certification of any replacement windows and doors

A survey will show any issues with the home, and it will be the responsibility of the buyer’s solicitor to actually obtain certifications on the home. Not having the appropriate certification will have an impact on the value of your home, your chances of selling it and if you need to spend money on your home to rectify any problems before you can sell. From a buyer’s point of view, this documentation along with a survey, often determines if you go through with a purchase or not.

Replacement window certification

If your home has had windows replaced since April 2002, then the installation of these windows must meet the building regulations at the time of installation. When selling your home, the buyer’s solicitor will need to see evidence that your windows meet the building regulations. This evidence can be provided to a solicitor or estate agent by:

• Providing a FENSA certificate, showing that the work was completed by a competent installer registered with FENSA
• Providing a certificate from your local authority building control, stating that the installation has been approved under the building regulations

If you have this documentation, then there is no hold up, however, if at this stage in selling your home this is the first you have heard of such certification, then there could be a delay to your sale.
If the windows were installed by a FENSA registered installer, then you can simply request a new certificate from the FENSA website, which you can do at:

http://fensa.org.uk/asp/certificate.asp

If however your windows were not installed by a FENSA installer, then you must contact your local building control and check if the windows have been inspected. If so, you need to follow their processes for obtaining the necessary documentation. If however, your windows haven’t been inspected; you will be expected to pay for them to be examined by your local building authority, again, adding time to your move. Unfortunately, for many, it is at this stage they find out that their windows are not compliant, and they may need to pay an unexpected cost to rectify the issues. This scenario is estimated to waste £1.5 billion each year (http://www.cowboystoppers.co.uk).

Estate Agents can help

An estate agent can help you by informing you of the documentation you will need to provide regarding your home to a buyer’s solicitor, when you agree to sell your home with them. At this stage, long before you have found a buyer, you can address the certification issue. The positive here, is that all of this investigation does not hold up the sale of your home, once you have found a buyer.

What to do now?

So if you are aiming to sell your home and you are not sure about your windows certification, then your first point of contact is the FENSA website. Here you check to see if your window installer is FENSA registered, or you can simply try to re-order a FENSA certificate for your property (all you need is your postcode and house number or name).

If you’ re thinking of installing your windows, remember you need to have the work comply with building regulations and you will need evidence of this when it comes to selling your home. The simple option is to use a FENSA registered installer for the work. Read our post on why you should opt for a FENSA registered installer here:

https://fensafitters.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/why-use-a-fensa-firm/

Selling your home?

24 Aug

Selling your home can be very stressful and it is right up there with getting married or divorced, experiencing a death in the family and serious money issues.

house from freefoto.com

Selling any home can be stressful (image provided by freefoto.com)

One thing that could make selling your home even more stressful is not having the relevant certificates for your replacement windows. 

Replacement windows

Many of us will have at some time replaced the windows in our home and this means when it comes to selling your property you need to produce a certificate to show that those windows meet the Building Regulations.

All replacement glazing comes within the scope of the Building Regulations which were installed in April 2002. When selling your home the solicitor will ask for evidence that those replacement windows comply with the building regulations. There are two ways to prove this compliance:

  1. 1.      You have a FENSA certificate showing that the work has been completed by a competent installer and member of FENSA
  2. 2.      You have a certificate from the local authority building control stating that the installation has been approved under the building regulations

The easy option

The easy option when getting replacement windows is to use a window installer who is registered with FENSA. These installers are able to self-certify that their work is compliant with the Building Regulations and provide you with a FENSA certificate. Keep it in a safe place and when you come to selling your home that will be one less thing to stress about.

Now, don’t worry if you lose your FENSA certificate, because FENSA keeps a record of all FENSA registered installations and as such we can re-issue you with your certificate via our website. You can re-order your certificate by following this link to the FENSA website http://www.fensa.org.uk/asp/certificate.asp

If you opt for a window installer who isn’t registered with FENSA you will need to negotiate with the local building control to come and inspect the work, which you will probably have to pay for as an additional cost.

Parting thought

Life can be stressful and maintaining your home can be a chore so when it comes to selling your home you really can do without the added stress of producing certificates for replacement windows.

You can avoid all this by using a FENSA registered window installer and be safe in the knowledge that you will have a FENSA certificate for the new windows and can easily obtain a replacement if it is lost.

Moving home and lost certificates…Nightmare…

16 Oct

You know how it is, you put your property up for sale, and then the solicitors get involved. Not only do you seem to do half of their work for them, filling in endless forms, pointing them in the right direction for searches etc, but then you get your buyers solicitors sending you all sorts of requests, most of which revolve around proof of this and that…Including wanting copies of certificates for building regulations, certificates for electrical work carried out, Corgi gas certificates, and remember, certificates for your windows!

New requirements for Competent Person Schemes

Let’s face it, if we have had the work done a while back, it’s more than likely many of these certificates may have been “miss-filed” shall we say (well in my case, maybe, just plainly lost). Well at least there is one less worry.  

When you use a FENSA registered window fitter, FENSA keep a record of all the work carried. So what does this mean for you and I? Well if you ever need that Windows Building Regulations Certificate (which you will when moving home) then FENSA can re-issue a copy of that certificate… Now that’s a life saver, means you can send your buyers solicitor a copy of the certificate and give them one less excuse for trying to knock a further 5 grand off of the asking price….

So remember always use a FENSA registered fitter, not only do you get peace of mind when your windows are being supplied and fitted, you also get peace of mind when you have to produce those window building regulations certificates. Even if you have lost, err I mean “miss-filed” them in the first place…