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

Selling property can be a complex and time-consuming process, requiring meticulous attention to paperwork and certifications. Among the crucial documents needed is the FENSA certificate. If you have ever bought, sold, or rented a property, you might have encountered this certificate. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide to understanding the FENSA certificate and its importance in the property market.

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What is a FENSA Certificate?

The Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme (FENSA) was established in April 2002 to ensure that window and door installations comply with building regulations. Specifically, it pertains to thermal performance standards and installation competence for double glazed windows, doors, and roof lights.

A FENSA certificate validates that the installation meets these rigorous standards and confirms the competency of the installer, providing assurance that the work complies with the necessary building regulations.

How Long Does a FENSA Certificate Last?

A FENSA certificate remains valid for as long as the windows and doors it covers are in place. It is associated with the property, not the owner, and serves as a permanent record that the installation was done correctly.

Why Do You Need a FENSA Certificate?

In simple terms, a FENSA certificate is essential for selling a property, since April 1, 2002, any replaced windows must have a FENSA certificate or a building regulations certificate to demonstrate legal compliance. Installing double glazing without such certification is illegal and can result in fines or prosecution for non-compliance with building regulations.

How to Obtain a FENSA Certificate

To ensure compliance, always select a windows and doors installer who is a member of the FENSA scheme. Upon completing the work, they will provide you with the certificate, if you misplace it you can obtain a replacement from the FENSA website for a small fee.

How to Verify a Property Has a FENSA Certificate

You can verify the presence of a FENSA certificate for a property through the FENSA website. Simply provide the house number and postcode, though this service incurs a fee of £25.

Importance of a FENSA Certificate in Buying and Selling Property

During property transactions, conveyancers will inquire about FENSA certificates and other regulatory documents using a standard inquiry form. You must provide all relevant certificates, the absence of a FENSA certificate can delay the sales process as additional inquiries are made.

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What If You Don't Have a FENSA Certificate?

Not possessing a FENSA certificate does not render your property unsellable, here are your options:

  1. Retrospective Building Regulation Compliance Certificate: Apply through your local authority. This process can be time-consuming and typically costs between £300 and £400.
  2. Local Authority Search: Conveyancers can request a local authority search as part of the transaction. This search will reveal details of the installation, including certification status and installer information.
  3. Indemnity Insurance: If the work was completed over a year ago, you might obtain double glazing building regulations indemnity insurance. Ensure that the policy covers any costs if installations are found non-compliant and enforcement action is necessary.

While it is not illegal to buy or sell a non-compliant property, it can cause delays as the installations must be certified before completing the sale. The local authority has the right to mandate corrections for any non-compliant work.

Felicity J. Lord’s Commitment to Smooth Transactions

Ensuring your new windows and doors comply with the FENSA standards is crucial to avoid future complications. Always verify that your installer is registered with FENSA. A FENSA certificate not only guarantees compliance but also simplifies future property sales by confirming registration with the local council.

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