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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9348
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Is a completion certificate required to sell a house that is

Resolved Question:

Is a completion certificate required to sell a house that is 7 years old?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

The situation is not unusual. The enforcement period for lack of building regulations completion certificate or approval is 12 months. Many buildings don’t have this and although it can be obtained retrospectively, what would normally happen is that the solicitor would arrange an indemnity policy against lack of building regulations.

Although it isn’t actually needed because it’s out of time for enforcement, it does protect the solicitor and the buyer in the event that whilst it’s not enforceable, there is a breach of the regulations which could be enforced for some strange reason. It’s one of those things that is not really necessary but solicitors will always insist on it. It’s not worth arguing for the £200 or so which the policy costs.

It will not stop you selling the property.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Fez, thanks for your answer. What if any prospective buyer approaches the Council about the Completion Certificate? I have read that if the council has been contacted then an indemnity policy is no longer possible?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

An indemnity policy is no longer possible if the council are bringing enforcement proceedings.

It’s no longer possible generally, if retrospective consent has been applied for because it may be refused for whatever reason then, the matters would need to be rectified.

The prospective buyer should not interfere in all honesty because this is not up to them at this stage, your property.

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