A building control completion certificate is an essential document that serves as evidence that a building project has been completed in accordance with the required standards and that it is safe for occupants. This certificate is necessary for various reasons, including compliance with local authority regulations, ensuring the safety of occupants, and providing proof of compliance for selling or proving the legality of any work carried out on a property.
To obtain a building control completion certificate, the appointed building control body must inspect the completed works and verify their compliance. The process may take a few days or several weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. However, using a private approved inspector, such as Building Consents Ltd, can expedite the process. It's important to note that the regulations for obtaining this certificate differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Selling a house without a building control certificate is highly unlikely, as potential buyers will be hesitant to purchase a property without proof of compliance. While the absence of a completion certificate doesn't necessarily mean the work is substandard, it poses a risk to the safety of occupants without any documented evidence. In such cases, homeowners must apply for a regularisation or retrospective application to gain approval for the completed work, which may involve invasive inspections. Failure to obtain approval may result in undoing the work or facing penalties.
If you are purchasing a property, it is crucial that your solicitor verifies the issuance of a completion certificate for any completed work. Failing to do so may leave you responsible for any future issues and the associated costs.
Prior to the early 90s, building control completion certificates were not mandatory. However, they have since become a requirement to ensure compliance with building regulations for completed projects.
To obtain a copy of a building control completion certificate for past work, either the homeowner or solicitor must request it from the local council, though a fee may be applicable. However, it's important to note that completion certificates may not be available for work completed before the 90s, as they were not mandatory at that time.
What is a partial certificate?
A partial or part-final completion certificate is issued to confirm the completion of a specific part of a building project to the required standards. This certificate is typically issued for distinct parts of the work covered by the initial notice, which can be independently occupied, such as individual apartments, floors of an office building, or separate dwellings.
What is a sectional certificate?
The terms "sectional completion" and "partial completion" differ in that sectional completion applies when a construction project is divided into different parts with separate completion dates. This allows for the use of completed sections before the entire project is finished. This is particularly advantageous for housing developments, as it enables developers to sell units as they are completed, thereby recouping costs earlier.
Is a Building Regulations Completion certificate different to a Planning Certificate?
It is important to note that a building control completion certificate is not the same as a planning permission certificate. While planning permission certificates pertain to land use, appearance, and the environmental impact of the building work, a building control completion certificate focuses on the construction process and ensuring compliance with building regulations. Depending on the project, one or both certificates may be required.
Is a Building Regulations Completion certificate a warranty or guarantee?
Lastly, a completion certificate should not be confused with a guarantee or warranty. New builds often come with a guarantee or warranty that protects buyers from expenses resulting from structural defects caused by poor workmanship during construction. This guarantee or warranty is required by law for developers selling new builds and typically has a time limit of 10 years. If you would like information about our warranty process please complete the form here.
If you would like to discuss your building project further, please contact us today.
At Building Consents we can apply for a completion certificate on your behalf. We carry out inspections on the property to ensure all work is carried out to the correct standard.
If you’d like to talk to us about your building project, contact us today.