What is a FENSA certificate, and can I sell my property without one?

Navigating the intricacies of property sales can be overwhelming, but we have a comprehensive guide to help you through every step of the process. One crucial aspect to consider is ensuring that all your paperwork and certificates are in order, including the FENSA certificate.

What exactly is a FENSA certificate?

FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. This scheme was established in 2002 to ensure that construction companies adhere to building regulations relating to the installation of doors and windows. Essentially, a FENSA certificate confirms that double-glazed windows, doors or roof lights meet the required standards and certain thermal performance criteria. Moreover, it serves as an assurance that the installers are deemed 'competent' and compliant with building requirements.

How long does a FENSA certificate last?

Well, here's the good news - a FENSA certificate remains valid for as long as the doors and windows it covers remain in situ, effectively becoming a fixture of the property rather than an individual's possession. The certificate acts as evidence that the doors and windows in your property were installed correctly, providing peace of mind for both buyers and sellers alike.

But why is a FENSA certificate necessary? In simple terms, it's a non-negotiable requirement for selling a property. Any windows replaced since 1st April 2002 must be accompanied by a FENSA certificate or a building regulations certificate to demonstrate legal compliance. Failure to produce these certificates can result in hefty fines and potential legal ramifications. In essence, having a FENSA certificate is a prerequisite for a smooth and legal property transaction.

So, how do you obtain a FENSA certificate?

The process is straightforward - opt for a doors and windows installer registered with the FENSA scheme. Upon completion of the work, they will furnish you with a copy of the certificate for safekeeping. In the event of misplacement, fear not, as you can request a duplicate from the FENSA website for a nominal fee.

If you are curious about your property's FENSA status, a quick check on the FENSA website using the house number and postcode will provide the desired information, but you will need to pay a fee of £25.

In the realm of property transactions, conveyancers often inquire about FENSA certificates and other relevant regulations. As such, it's imperative to provide all the relevant certificates to keep the purchase moving forward. Failure to produce a FENSA certificate may lead to delays as conveyancers delve deeper into the matter.

What if I don’t have a FENSA certificate?

While it doesn't mean your property can’t be sold, third parties may need to come and inspect the windows and doors and certify them.

There are some things you will need to do. One option is to apply to your local authority for a 'Retrospective Building Regulation Compliance Certificate,' albeit at considerable expense. This costs between £300-400 and will take some time, so may mean a delay in your sale. The local authority may request that in incidents of non-compliance, repair work is carried out before the property sale can proceed. Alternatively, you can order double glazing building regulations indemnity insurance, provided the work was completed over a year ago.

The policy should cover the cost of upgrade work or re-installation if the windows and doors are found to be non-compliant.

At Felicity J. Lord, our mission is to facilitate seamless property transactions while ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations. By adhering to FENSA requirements, we alleviate potential headaches and streamline the sales process for our clients. Whether you're buying or selling property, our expertise can help. Get in touch with us today and discover how we can assist you in your property journey.