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Lack of FENSA certificate

Last post Thu, May 28 2009, 4:47 PM by mydogisbob. 19 replies.
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  •  Thu, May 28 2009, 4:47 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    We are in the process of selling our house, over the last few years I have had some new windows and doors and a new cmbi boiler fitted I have no Fensa cert or paperwork for the boiler, our solicitor has written to us to say that they can get an indemnity policy which will cover both of these things for £50 which is much cheaper that getting the buildings inspector out. So maybe if your solicitor has quoted higher than this you need to get another solicitor.
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, May 26 2009, 12:52 AM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    I believe they have meters they can use to assess whether the glass is "k" glass or not, and i think that would have to be the case before a certificate was issued...
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, May 15 2007, 9:37 AM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    We have experienced similar problems with a fully glazed door we had fitted in June 2002.  I have requested building control to come out and inspect the door as we have no Fensa certificate.  The door is kite marked, has a lintel and is safety glass however we don't seem to know if it was fitted with K glass which meets the new thermal insullation regs.  Do you know if the inspector is likely to look for this and if so would he ask us to replace the unit with this glass before issuing a certificate?

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Mon, May 07 2007, 8:42 AM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    I think this has already been touched on - if you are pretty sure that it does comply - if it was done to all the right standards etc, then get the Building Inspector in to check it and he will give you a certificate of retrospective compliance. That's as good as a FENSA certificate.

     As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sun, May 06 2007, 2:18 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    Along with other problems we seem to be finding in selling our home, my father installed a new double glazed back door for us in 2005, it was done off books from the double glazing firm he works for.  The buyers solictor now informs me that they require a fensa cert.  I have learnt about this from this site, wish i had found out earlier!.  Can someone tell me the quickest route to solve this for the buyer and us???
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, May 02 2007, 8:37 AM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    The work needs to be 12months old but if it is then provided the relevant authorities have not been informed about it then a Building Regulation Indemnity Policy will be available.  It should cover gas and electrical work as well.  

     As I have said, it does not give any protection if the damage results because the work did not comply, but only if enforcement action is taken.   It is a relatively straightforward thing for a local authority to prosecute for breach of the regs, but it can only do this in the first 12 months.   After  that it is left with the possibility of applying for an injunction to have the work reinstated to its former state!   This almost never happens.   (Imagine the local press having a field day if the Council suddenly descended on some porr unsuspecting person about some work done to their house several years previously!)   The judge in Cottingham v Attey-Bower in 2000 thought because it could happen solicitors should check whether old works complied in case the Council took action.

    In one sense the indemnity policies are a waste of money because they do not provide the protection that in a few cases people will want, i.e. that the work is safe etc, and will never have to pay out anyway, because there is no effective enforcement of the regulations.   However, solicitors are in the position where we are faced with lenders adhering to a book of rules about what we have to check and the policies are provided to demonstarte to the lenders ( if we have to) that we have done all we can to protect them.   We have to certify we have checked all the legal details about a property - very few lenders ask questions about WHAT we have checked, so it is only if something goes really pear shaped and a lender repossesses and finds a problem that it will come back to us.  

    The difficulty is that lenders do not have people in their offices qualified and empowered to assess legal risks.   In any house purchase there may well be matters where there are small risk elements that we cna explain to a lay client.  A lot of people will take a common sense view and accept that there is a small risk but they are prepared ot accept it.   We simply can't have that kind of conversation with a lender.   If we tell them that there is some minor problem about building regs they could pass it round the office for a week or two because nobody there understands what our point is about, and then refer it to their surveyor who doesn't want to get sued so suggests that the Council is called in to check whatever is involved - which can sometimes mean quite disruptive investigations and both buyer and seller are wondering about why there is such a delay and increased cost that neither really wants.    So we don't go there, don't tell the lender, and ask for a policy.

    As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, May 01 2007, 7:02 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    That's a fair point Richard, but I was particularly concentrating on Jackie's question seeing as she had the extension glazing fitted in 2002, and that she has been told she needs a certificate of compliance, to sell her house.

    It won't be long IMO before everything follows suit, new gas installations are already required to have a Corgi installation compliance certificate, as in new or rewired electrical installations needing a part P compliance inspection and test notice. I think they are a good thing, but just hope it dosn't go too far, and that the intention of these requirements are always safety improvement related.

    By the way would one of these indemnity policies also discharge a seller from meeting the gas and electricity requirements, if they did not have that vital certificate, what would happen in that case ?

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, May 01 2007, 6:30 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    conmankiller:

    In my view if I had any doubt that the work might not be up to building standard regulations, I would want to know why, and have it put right in the interests of safety, for everyone concerned, new buyers included. The only way I could find that out would be to pay the building inspector to come and tell me whether it is a safe installation, and issue a certificate accordingly.

    These indemnity policies will not replace a persons life or heal horrific injuries, if any poor person fell through an inferior glass unit, or even cover you as a seller if you were taken to court, therefore they serve in ways as an alternative, to certain people who want to bypass their legal obligations when selling their property, and should not be depended on to cover any liability that you have, apart from paying to have new glass fitted when it has become apparent they were sub standard, once some poor soul falls through the glass, to find out the hard way.

    Prevention is better than cure !

     That's fair enough, but you have to remember that the rules about double glazing having to comply with building regulations only came in April 2002 so there are lots of installations out there put in before then that could be fine or could very dodgy and didn't have to comply, so you have to get the whole thing in context.  

    There could be lots of things wrong from a safety point of view with older houses which could be far worse than lack of a FENSA certificate and yet nobody gets excited about them.  

    As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, May 01 2007, 5:30 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    Thanks for providing both sides of the discussion.  Obviously it is you that have to live with yourself, so only you can know which is the best way for you to go.  Thanks again.
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, May 01 2007, 5:17 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    In my view if I had any doubt that the work might not be up to building standard regulations, I would want to know why, and have it put right in the interests of safety, for everyone concerned, new buyers included. The only way I could find that out would be to pay the building inspector to come and tell me whether it is a safe installation, and issue a certificate accordingly.

    These indemnity policies will not replace a persons life or heal horrific injuries, if any poor person fell through an inferior glass unit, or even cover you as a seller if you were taken to court, therefore they serve in ways as an alternative, to certain people who want to bypass their legal obligations when selling their property, and should not be depended on to cover any liability that you have, apart from paying to have new glass fitted when it has become apparent they were sub standard, once some poor soul falls through the glass, to find out the hard way.

    Prevention is better than cure !

    • Post Points: 35
  •  Tue, May 01 2007, 4:49 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    Jackie Kemp:

    Thanks to both of you for the above information.  Looks like Building Control is the way to go.

    Jackie 

    If you are pretty sure it will meet the standards then that is sensible to get the building inspector it as it tells the buyer it DOES meet the standards.   However in a lot of cases the seller will not be so sure that it does meet the standards, and so will not want to involve the building inspector because, once he is involved, no indemnity policy is available.

    These policies only pay out if the Council takes enforcement action, not if there is some problem with the physical condition of the building because the standards are not met.  Therefore they don't provide quite the same reassurance as the FENSA cert or the building inspector check.   They are not that expensive.   A policy from a leading company obtainable by most solicitors costs £57 for a property worth between £150,001 and £200,000.

    As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Fri, Apr 27 2007, 7:44 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    good luck jackie!
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Fri, Apr 27 2007, 6:07 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    Thanks to both of you for the above information.  Looks like Building Control is the way to go.

    Jackie 

     

    • Post Points: 35
  •  Fri, Apr 27 2007, 5:13 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    Jackie --- As Roger has quite correctly ponted out, the inspection takes about ten minutes, just to visually inspect the kitemarks mainly on the D/G units, and generally to ensure the job is up to standards. Once they have filled their form in, they go away and post a compliance certificate to you, which is usually within two weeks, faster if you ask them.

    I had my Upvc D/G fitted in the same way using a friend who fits them for a living, although he isn't a registered FENSA member his work is spot on, and the building inspector commented, it was a far nicer job than he had seen from a lot of firms that are registered.

    The £70 fee is standard in my area, although it will differ a bit, in some areas, it is a one off inspection with safety being the paramount reason, all glazed areas that are below a certain height have to have toughened glass, to stop the horrific injuries that could be caused by inferior units, if someone fell against them.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Fri, Apr 27 2007, 3:13 PM

    Re: Lack of FENSA certificate

    Hi Jackie,

    Mine was a one-off inspection carried out whilst I was out at work, so can only have been a visual inspection done from outside the house. The only form-filling was a straightforward description of the work (this may not apply to you as yours is an existing installation). I wrote it myself in about five lines fully expecting to have it thrown back at me, but no, it was fine apparently. No paperwork about the windows fitted was needed or anything like that... I think as conmankiller suggested, the inspector just whipped around to verify the glass was all stamped with the right kitemarks, the window units were pukka, and the installation was done to a reasonable standard.

    Before doing this I was concerned that it may prove tricky to get the certificate, with them asking allsorts of impossible technical questions and the like. I had visions of having to rip the whole lot out and then pay a FENSA firm to come and fit new ones. In actual fact it was a breeze, I saved a packet, and ended up well chuffed.

    • Post Points: 20
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