What is a FENSA Certificate and do I need one to sell my property?
Selling property might seem daunting (never fear we have a complete guide here) so it can take time to complete the process. Part of it is getting all your paperwork and certificates in order.
It’s especially important to confirm you are meeting the requirements of selling a home and where you stand when it comes to the FENSA certificate. If you have ever bought, sold, or rented a house before, then a FENSA certificate is something you have probably encountered before, but here’s a guide to help you.
The team at haart are on hand for guidance, too. Find your local branch and call us to talk all things property!
What is a FENSA Certificate?
FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. It was set up in April 2002 to make sure that construction companies met building regulations that specifically deal with doors and windows installation.
The regulations require that double glazed windows, doors, or roof lights comply with FENSA standards as well as meet certain thermal performance standards.
The certificate also shows that the installers of doors and windows are ‘competent’ (meaning they comply with the building requirements).
How long does a FENSA certificate last?
A FENSA certificate lasts as long as the doors and windows it covers, so it stays with a property, not a person. It demonstrates that the doors and windows in your property were installed correctly.
Why do you need a FENSA Certificate?
To put it bluntly, you cannot sell a property without one!
Windows that have been replaced since 1st April 2002 must be supported by a FENSA certificate or a building regulations certificate, to show that they legally comply. It is illegal to have installed double glazing in a property without a building regs certificate. There are possible fines and even prosecution if proper building regulations haven’t been adhered to.
How to get a FENSA Certificate
You should always choose a doors and windows installer that is a member of the FENSA scheme. Once they have completed work on your property, they’ll give you a copy of the certificate so you can keep it safe. If you lose your copy, you can request a new one from FENSA’s website at a small cost.
How do I check that my property has a FENSA certificate?
You can check your property, or one you are considering buying on the FENSA site. You only need to provide the house number and the postcode, but there is a fee of £25.
What does a FENSA certificate have to do with buying and selling a house?
When it comes to buying and selling property, conveyancers will ask about things like FENSA certificates and other important regulations through a standard inquiry form. You have to supply all the relevant certificates. The sales processes in the absence of a FENSA certificate may take longer as the conveyancers do further inquiries.
What happens if you don't have a FENSA Certificate?
Not having a FENSA certificate at hand does not mean that your property becomes unsaleable. You have some options:
- You can apply to your local authority for a ‘Retrospective Building Regulation Compliance Certificate’. This can take time and costs between £300 – £400.
The conveyancer involved can check with the local authority through the search results that will be done as part of the transaction. The search can show all the details of installation including if the certification was done, how, and by whom.
- You can take out double glazing building regulations indemnity insurance, as long as the work was completed more than a year ago.
Make sure that the insurance policy will cover the costs involved if installations never complied with the building regulations and enforcement action is taken.
Although it is not an offense to buy or sell a home that is ‘non-compliant’ with the building regulations it can cause delays as the doors and windows must be checked and certified before the sale can complete. A local authority can order someone to fix any non-compliant work done on a property.
haart’s on a mission to get you moved
As this guide shows, getting new windows and doors comes with important regulations that are going to cost you further down the line if you don’t follow them. Always check your installer is registered with FENSA. A FENSA certificate also assures you that the installations will be registered with the local council and you can sell the property on with no hassle.