What is a FENSA Certificate and Do I Need One to Sell My Property?

Navigating the complexities of property transactions can be daunting, a crucial aspect of this process involves ensuring all necessary documentation and certificates are in place. Among these, the FENSA certificate is particularly significant. Whether you have previously bought, sold, or rented a property, you may have encountered this certificate, this guide will elucidate its importance and role in property transactions.

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What is a FENSA Certificate?

FENSA, which stands for Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme, was established in April 2002 to ensure compliance with building regulations concerning the installation of windows and doors. These regulations mandate that double-glazed windows, doors, and roof lights meet specific thermal performance standards in addition to FENSA standards.

The FENSA certificate verifies that the installers of doors and windows are competent and that their work complies with building regulations.

How Long Does a FENSA Certificate Last?

A FENSA certificate is valid for the lifespan of the windows and doors it covers, remaining with the property regardless of ownership changes. It serves as evidence that the installations were correctly carried out and compliant with relevant standards.

Why Do You Need a FENSA Certificate?

In essence, selling a property without a FENSA certificate is not feasible. Any windows replaced since April 1, 2002, must have a FENSA certificate or a building regulations certificate to confirm legal compliance. Installing double glazing without such certification is illegal and can result in fines or prosecution for failing to adhere to building regulations.

How to Obtain a FENSA Certificate

To obtain a FENSA certificate, hire an installer who is a member of the FENSA scheme. Upon completing their work, they will provide you with a certificate to keep safe. If you misplace your certificate, you can request a replacement from the FENSA website for a small fee.

How to Check for a FENSA Certificate

To verify whether a property has a FENSA certificate, you can search the FENSA website. You will need to provide the house number and postcode, with a verification fee of £25.

The Role of a FENSA Certificate in Buying and Selling Property

During the property transaction process, conveyancers will inquire about FENSA certificates and other regulatory compliances using a standard inquiry form. Providing all relevant certificates is necessary for a smooth sales process. Without a FENSA certificate, the process may be delayed as additional inquiries are made by conveyancers.

What If You Don't Have a FENSA Certificate?

Lacking a FENSA certificate does not render your property unsellable, but it does present challenges, here are your options:

  1. Apply for a Retrospective Building Regulation Compliance Certificate: This can be requested from your local authority and typically costs between £300 and £400, taking some time to process.
  2. Local Authority Search: The conveyancer can conduct a search with the local authority as part of the transaction, revealing details of the installation, including certification.
  3. Double Glazing Building Regulations Indemnity Insurance: If the work was completed more than a year ago, you can obtain this insurance to cover potential costs if the installations did not comply with building regulations and enforcement action is taken.

While buying or selling a non-compliant home is not an offense, it can delay the transaction as the windows and doors must be inspected and certified. A local authority can mandate rectification of any non-compliant work.

Chewton Rose’s Commitment to Your Move

As highlighted, compliance with regulations when installing new windows and doors is crucial to avoid future complications. Always ensure your installer is FENSA-registered, a FENSA certificate guarantees that installations are logged with the local council, facilitating hassle-free property transactions.

Are you looking to buy or sell property? Chewton Rose can help. We leverage a unique blend of expert staff and advanced technology to market your property effectively. Contact us today to discover how we can assist you.

By adhering to these guidelines and ensuring you have a FENSA certificate, you can streamline the process of selling your property and avoid unnecessary delays or legal issues.