PROFESSIONAL CONSULTANTS CERTIFICATES

THE AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE TO STRUCTURAL WARRANTIES
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The No. 1 Choice for CML Approved Building Certificates

Fast and secure cover, underwritten by an A rated Insurer. Service and efficiency is our forte ensuring we provide the best technical advice with the support you need.  

5 simple steps

What details do you require to obtain a quote?

To generate a quote on your behalf we require:

  • The stage of construction
  • The type of property – detached house, flat etc.
  • The number of properties to be certified
  • The insurance level you require
  • The postcode of the site
  • Your name, phone number and email address

What insurance level do I need?

Mortgage lenders will request the insurance level to be either:

  • £250,000 if employed directly
  • £500,000 if employed indirectly, or,
  • The value of the property once completed

Therefore, we will offer cover for £500,000 as a minimum. We can offer insurance up to £2 million property value.

What does the Quote include?

You will be quoted an ‘all-inclusive’ price meaning there are no extras. Your quote includes all disbursements and costs, all the necessary pre-visit checks, site visits and post-visit administrative work in respect of certifying the property.

Do you offer a discount or is there a referral code?

Our quotation system automatically builds in pre-determined discounts for multiple units.

We do not directly apply additional discounts, as we are competitive from the outset.

All Invoices & Receipts are sent to you automatically via email.

Invoices can be settled by bank transfer.

Please note that PCC charges are not directly linked to the inspection visits. It is mandatory that we maintain insurance cover from the commencement of your case for the life of the certificate.

You will need to submit the following documents:

A copy of the project drawings

A copy of the planning consent

A copy of the building regulations completion certificate (at practical completion build stage) This document is essential and required prior to issue of our PCC!

Once a site inspection has been requested, our nominated surveyor will call you directly to arrange a convenient day and time for the inspection.

Once our surveyor has conducted the site inspection, they are required to submit a report for approval. Once the report has been approved, you are sent a PDF copy which can then be printed as normal or forwarded on (to a solicitor for example).

Your certificate will normally be issued within 24 hours of the property inspection.

Application Form

BUILD WARRANTY provides fast and effective cover at the most competitive price. Complete our simple online form and our team of specialists will process your quote immediately.

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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

There are two schemes suitable to lenders, either:

  • A Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC), or,
  • A Structural Defect Warranty

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has created the PCC on behalf of the banks to formalise and standardise the certification of newly built or newly converted residential property.

The CML standard PCC certificate needs to be administered and signed off by a professional consultant such as an Architect (who must be registered with the Architects Registration Board – ARB) in order for it to be valid.

It was formerly known throughout the construction industry as an Architects Certificate, but this no longer applies.

This is a property converted to a dwelling through a ‘material change of use’, such as converting a commercial office building into a dwelling, or a redundant barn into a dwelling.

It has always been in CML guidelines for lenders to request a PCC for newly converted property, however some mortgage lenders may have over-looked this in the past. We have found during the last 12 – 18 months that mortgage lenders have been tightening up on their lending criteria, and as such have been making sure these certificates are available.

It is a statutory (legal) requirement to have any new build or conversion project monitored by a building inspector under a building regulations application, for compliance with The Building Act 1984.

Unfortunately, the banks and building societies do not consider the building regulations to be a suitable form of guarantee for mortgage purposes. Therefore, they insist on either a PCC or Structural Warranty, which is additional to the building regulations.

Professionals you can trust

All the certificates are monitored and signed off by Justin Smith, the proprietor of Justin Smith Architects Limited, leading Midlands based practice specialising in residential property.

Justin is a Chartered Architect with more than 25 years experience in the industry. His qualifications are BA(Hons), B(Arch). He is a member of RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects), and registered with the ARB (the Architects Registration Board).

His ARB registration number is 064630J, and can be verified by clicking the following link:

http://architects-register.org.uk/architect/064630J

The above qualifications meet the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) requirements.

  • Quite simply, no other company can match us for a combination of expertise, speed and cost.

    1. Expertise: Our certificates are administered by a leading Midlands based Chartered Architect with 25 years of residential property experience.
    2. Speed: Our systems are online and automatically generated. This means quotes; receipts and certificates are issued almost instantly. Our surveyors cover the UK and have access to the systems on the go. We have been known to issue retrospective certificates in less than 24 hours – which is great for those who are relying on this for a property exchange.
    3. Cost: Our digital systems drive efficiencies, which reduce costs. We can pass these onto customers. Our instant quotes offer great value, and our system builds in great discounts for those with multiple properties to certify.

Lenders and Insurance

The majority of the mainstream residential mortgage lenders accept the PCC. You can find the current list of lenders by viewing the CML Lenders Handbook at:   https://www.cml.org.uk/lenders-handbook/   To fully satisfy yourselves, contact the lenders direct.

A PCC is a certificate of compliance, which provides 6 years’ worth of cover as requested by the CML on behalf of the banks. As a PCC is a standard certificate there is no mechanism for exclusions. Therefore, the Professional Consultant must only issue the certificate when they are satisfied the building has been built to a satisfactory standard.

A Structural Warranty is an insurance backed product, which is often underwritten by large insurance brokers, and they usually come with 10 years’ worth of cover. Like all insurance products, they come with a lengthy list of inclusions or exclusions.

In terms of build quality, generally, we only require properties are constructed to current UK building regulations standards, whereas Structural Warranty providers often require a much higher standard of construction.

With all of the above, a PCC is a much more cost-effective option of providing mortgage ready certification for newly built properties.

The PCC is not an insurance backed product (nor Defects Liability Insurance). The Professional Consultants are insured. The professionals are the ones administering and issuing the certificates; therefore, they must carry professional indemnity insurance for the six-year life span of the certificate.

Remedies for defects should be sought from the builder or contractor if discovered in the first 24 months following completion of the services.

Primarily, we do everything diligently and up front to make sure that you don’t have any major structural problems in the first place. Providing a PCC is more about prevention than cure. The Professional Consultants Certificate will certainly fulfil all of your financial and funding requirements, but it is NOT an insurance backed, latent defects insurance.

With a Professional Consultants Certificate there is no defects element to the insurance. You will not be able to claim for items such as flaking paintwork or a faulty door handle. If the surveyor is found to be negligent in his duties, which leads to a structural problem then a claim against their Professional Indemnity Insurance would be valid.

A professional consultant who carries professional indemnity insurance for the six-year life span of the certificate administers your certificate. Our professional consultants are underwritten by one of the UK’s largest insurers, so we do not anticipate any issues regarding insurance. In the event they cease practicing or ‘retire’, they are required by the CML to maintain insurance run-off cover ensuring that all the certificates issued are covered for their life span.

We are insured up to £2 million for each and every claim.

Yes. Each certificate is issued with a copy of insurance. If you would like to see a copy prior to order, please speak with a member of our support staff who can help.

Yes. If you would like to see a copy prior to order, please speak with a member of our support staff who can help.

We are finding that because mortgage lenders ask for an indemnity scheme, more and more cash buyers are demanding them, to avoid any future financing problems.

During Certification

We do not issue paper copies of certificates. This is because our systems are digital, meaning the certificates are generated electronically. Upon certification of each stage, you are sent a ‘PDF’ copy of the certificate. The PDF copy can then be printed as normal or forwarded on (to a solicitor for example).

Each certificate contains a unique identifying code (an electronic signature). Our systems provide a complete audit trail, which maintains the ability to prove who has signed off the certificate.

Electronic signatures are valid and legally binding around the world. The adoption of the European Directive 1999/93/EC of 13 December 1999 established a community framework for the use of electronic signatures on electronic contracts in the EU.

Of course, if you are unable, we are happy to print a copy of the certificate from our end and post to you. Please let us know.

Your certificate is normally issued within 24 hours of the property inspection

Yes. The certificate is valid for 6 years from date of issue and is transferable to any future purchasers of the dwelling.

Yes. This can be provided for you and emailed to you following your order. We would need:

  • Your lender’s name and address
  • Your mortgage application or ‘roll number’

Certification Stages

We can offer certificates for properties which:

  • Have not yet commenced construction
  • Are part way through construction
  • Are completed

What are the key ‘or certified’ stages?

.

  • Stage 1. DPC: All works complete to damp proof

course level

  • Stage 2. Watertight: Property completed to roof level

and weather tight

  • Stage 3. First Fix: Internal plastering and first fix of

joinery completed

Followed by:

  • Stage 4. Practical Completion: All works completed

We are not looking at cosmetic items such as a loose door handle or flaking paint. We will make sure there are no structural faults or any missing items (roof tiles for example) which could be prone to water ingress.

Not particularly. We take overall responsibility for the works to the property and provide a guarantee to the mortgage lender for the next six years. This creates considerable risk. If our property inspections determine there are defective works we would firstly, highlight these to you in a report, and offer you the opportunity to correct the defective items. Once all defective items have been completed, we will issue the certificate.

Generally, if the building inspector has approved the works, then there should not be a problem.

Usually, only one inspection per key stage is necessary. However, if for some reason we had to reject a stage, or wanted to view additional items, then additional inspections could be made at our discretion.

Therefore, if your project has:

  • Not yet commenced construction, we would make 4 inspections corresponding with the stages above.
  • You have started construction, but have not yet reached DPC level, we would make 4 inspections corresponding with the stages above.
  • You have started construction, and have passed DPC stage, we would make 2-3 inspections corresponding with the stages above.
  • Construction is completed, then we would make 1 inspection corresponding with the Practical Completion stage above.

Monitoring and Retrospective Services

Generally, if you have not yet started the build you will require a monitoring service. This is where we make inspections during the course of the works.

A monitoring service provides you with interim (or stage) certificates, which can be used to for ‘draw down’ payments from the banks. This is an added value service.

If your build has been completed, then you will require the retrospective service as we can only make one post completion inspection.

We have been through a lengthy audit process with our insurers. They are satisfied with our company’s expertise and quality assurance procedures so allow us to administer the certificates retrospectively.

The main query regarding retrospection certification is that the CML standard form of certificate states under clause 1:

“I have visited the site at appropriate periods from the commencement of construction to the current stage to check generally.”

This suggests the service is only applicable to full monitoring services. However, where builds have been completed the CML are not particularly helpful and structural warranty companies will not offer retrospective services, meaning customers are stuck. This is why we went through an audit process to help customers.

Therefore, our retrospective certificates are edited under clause 1 to state: “I have visited the site at appropriate periods to check generally.”

We have administered hundreds of these types of certificates without any issues. However, we cannot guarantee that a particular underwriter or solicitor will not take issue with them, as they are not fully compliant with the CML standard form.

Our case in point is that our company has been audited for this service and is willing to offer insurance against the build for the next six years when others will not.

We accept under conversion projects, the main building is already complete. However, some projects have extensions meaning the four usual stages including DPC apply. However, if there were to be no additions, then we would recommend using 3 stages as follows:

  1. Water tight: As the building is existing, we would use this stage to examine the strip-out and structure.
  2. First Fix: Internal plastering and first fix of joinery completed.
  3. Practical Completion: All works completed.

When certifying flats, each flat will need its own certificate. This is because the banks are aware each flat could be sold on independently. Our quotation system builds in discounts when certifying a number of flats at the same time.

  • A copy of the project drawings
  • A copy of the planning consent
  • A copy of the building regulations completion certificate (at practical completion build stage) This document is essential and required prior to issue of our PCC!