The importance of distinguishing between NHBC and Building Regulations

27/02/2015

The importance of distinguishing between NHBC and Building Regulations

With approximately 28,000 new homes being built each quarter last year in England alone it is important to be aware of the pitfalls with regards to new home warranties and building regulations.  As solicitors we must check on behalf of a client and any lender as to whether the new home is building regulation compliant and if there a new home warranty.

All new homes should be covered by a warranty. This is usually through the National House Building Council (NHBC) but there are also other providers that lenders accept.  The purpose of this warranty is to protect the homeowner from any damage or defect in the property, usually for a period of ten years.

The warranty provider can sometimes certify building regulations compliance as well as providing the warranty however this isn’t a matter of course and it is therefore imperative that the right questions are asked of the developer’s solicitors. The warranty documentation must be carefully considered to ensure that it covers building regulation consent.  If it does not the solicitor acting for you must make sure that the contract provides for requisite the paperwork to be obtained separately from the Local Authority by way of a Completion Certificate.

If the issue of the building regulation completion certificate is overlooked, simply because there is a new build warranty, it can lead to serious issues when you come to sell the property in the future. All new build property must be building regulation compliant, whether this is by way of the warranty provider or by way of a separate completion certificate, to ensure a lender will provide a mortgage on the property.

There are cases where the warranty does not cover building regulations and the property has not been ‘signed off’ by the local authority. It may be that when the local authority comes to inspect the property they are unable to produce the completion certificate due to the property not being regulation compliant. You as the homeowner and seller will be left in a difficult situation as the property is now unsellable to anyone requiring a mortgage. The issue remains that should you wish to obtain a completion certificate the defects in the property that do not accord with the building regulations will need to be rectified which can be a costly process.

By instructing Hine Solicitors we will be thorough and efficient in ensuring you obtain all of the paperwork that is required so that you will have no issues when you come to sell or re-mortgage your property.

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