Selling your home with a “Full Service History”
Having a car with a full service history can add value to your vehicle. Adopting the same approach to selling your home can have similar results.
The introduction of Home Information Packs two years ago means that certain basic items of information have to be available before a property can be marketed. However, home owners should be aware that in an increasingly tough market buyers (and their solicitors) are getting more and particular about the information that they receive about your property.
Common problems occur with missing information for the following items:
• If you obtain planning consent for an extension or loft conversion make sure you keep a copy of the planning permission. If there are any conditions attached to the planning permission (for example installing only a particular type of floor or window) make sure that you can provide evidence that you have complied with that condition.
• Certain types of work do not require planning consent and are classed as “permitted development”. If you believe that your works do not require local authority consent it may speed up your sale if you have a letter from the Council confirming this to be the case.
Building Regulation Approval
• Be prepared to produce either the Notice of Passing of Plans or the Initial Notice. This is the confirmation from the Building Control Department at the council that they have been notified that works are going to be carried out.
• After the works are complete make sure that you obtain the Completion Certificate from the Council. Having to obtain this some time after the works have been finished can present a real problem – particularly if the Building Inspector wishes parts of the works to be exposed.
Windows, electrical work and replacement boilers
• To avoid the need to obtain full building regulation approval for replacement windows, electrical work and replacement boilers these industries administer a “competent persons” scheme.
• A glazing firm that is FENSA registered will issue a certificate to confirm that replacement windows have been installed to the proper standards (meaning that Building Regulation approval is not required).
• An electrician who is “Part P” competent is able to self-certify work that he or she carries out at your home. Certain electrical work should now only be carried out by a Part P competent electrician who will notify the Council that they have carried out work at your property and provide you with a certificate of compliance. Make sure that you keep this certificate since an entry will now appear on the Local Search to advise that work has been carried out.
• Similarly, a heating engineer who is registered under CORGI’s self certification scheme will notify the Council of the replacement of any boiler (to avoid the need for a separate Building Regulation approval). Make sure that you retain the certificate of compliance that you are provided (which is not the same document as the Gas Safety Certificate which may be produced at the same time).
At the moment, having this documentation to hand to give to your solicitor will without doubt speed up the sale of your property.
But be warned. It has been proposed that these items should in the future form a compulsory part of any Home Information Pack. Should this happen then it is possible that your home may not even be put on the market if any of these items are not available.
This article was written for an first published in the Wimbledon Time and Leisure Magazine.