Professional Consultants Certificates
Are you looking at doing a self build or a conversion and need a mortgage? or sell? and you can't register for a Building Warranty or can't afford it?
There is an affordable alternative - you could use our Professional Consultants Certificate (formerly known as an Architects Certificate) accepted by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) now UK Finance.
We offer a no fuss alternative, no need to register with us just fill out a straight forward form and provide the necessary details we will do the rest and at a very competitive price. Our fully qualified site inspectors will carry out the necessary visits identified in your inspection package and then provide you with a fully detailed report, with photographic evidence of the witnessed works.
We carry over 1 million pounds of professional Indemnity insurance to cover our certificates we issue. We can also provide reports to your lender for staged payments during your build. A PCC does differ from a building warranty and we advise you check with the CML before you place an order to ensure its suitable for your requirements.
The new build PCC has been pre-approved by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The main advantage being that the majority of lenders will offer a mortgage against it. This can prove extremely valuable if; you are selling the property and the purchaser needs a mortgage; or release interim payments if you wish to raise a Buy-to-Let mortgage against the property.
How does it work?
Firstly request a copy of our questionnaire for new builds/conversions and provide as much detail as you can about the project. From there we will work out your inspection plan and your quote and appoint one of our inspectors from our national team of professionals surveyors.
If you accept the quote, we can then move on to check the drawings and technical details of the project. After which we will issue a report highlighting any poor areas of design or any issues we believe are not Building Control Compliant.
Once you commence work, we will carry out a minimum of four site visits at various stages of construction or however many visits we identified in your plan, generally foundations through to completion. In addition to this with every site report we will send a reminder of what's outstanding and any site issue that still need to be addressed. We do this because to prevent any delay at the end of the job and hold any possible sales up.
After each visit we will issue a site report, with photographic evidence of what was witnessed on site and any areas we feel need addressing for your builder. Also if required, stage payment certificates for your lender.
If you are a first time builder, that's not an issue, we offer expert advice throughout.
Once the final visit has been completed and all the documentation we require has been issued we can then issue client with a the OBCS Ltd Professional Consultant’s Certificate.
Already built it? Not a problem we may still be able to help
A Retrospective Architect's Certificate is when we are called in after the scheme has commenced - even if the project is built!
Our certificate is most beneficial to first time self-build individuals, professional builders and developers who do not meet the NHBC certification eligibility. So if you are a self-builder or developer; building a new house, converting / extending an existing property into new dwellings, this route may apply to you.
Usually when we are appointed from the start of your project, but we appreciate things go wrong and plans change, so the format is similar to the the new build except we will send you a retrospective questionnaire. Obviously as there is more risk involved we may have to ask slightly more questions about the project.
Our Current policy on the retrospective issuing of the Professional Consultants Certificate is as follows: There are eight points on the CML approved Professional Consultants Certificate to which the issuing professional subscribes to. With retrospective certification, it is point number 1 which gives the most concern.
Point number 1 states: ‘I have visited the site at appropriate periods from the commencement of the construction stage to check generally: (a) progress, and (b) conformity with drawings, approved under the building regulations, and (c) conformity with drawings/instructions properly issued under the building contract.’ So when we are being called in after the project has commenced, in as much that the building is substantially complete and has usually been signed off by building control.
Our protocols state that the opportunity to ‘check’ the build program is as follows:
1. A desk-top investigation of the technical information.
2. Examination of the Building Control records.
3. Sight of the Building Control Completion Certificate and any guarantees that are in place.
4. Where possible, a full structural survey of the completed dwelling such as an RICS condition report or similar.
5. Opening up of any dubious element for retrospective examination e.g. a trial hole for foundations. Usually, in these cases, the building inspector’s record can be used for checking non-visible elements. We may in very rare occasions ask for elements of the work to be approved by a structural engineer, such as foundations if there is reasonable doubt over an elements suitability.
6. Request remedial works when appropriate and obtain evidence of the completion of such works. The consultant has not visited at the commencement of construction, but has visited at an appropriate period during the time scale from commencement to, or after completion. The appropriate period being from the date of his / her involvement until the present time and has attained structural building regulations sign off relevant for the Professional Consultant’s Certificate.
Definition of ‘Warranty’ re: CML
The word ‘warranty’ is used in the sense that a professional consultant undertakes to the financial lender that the property is secure from a structural viewpoint and complies with building regulations. This should not be mistaken for any form of Latent Defects Insurance. A Professional Consultants Certificate is only a warranty in the sense that the issuing professional undertakes (by means of a signed CML certificate) that the subject property is built in accordance with the approved plans, complies with building regulations and is to a good standard. This undertaking is primarily for the use of banks and building societies as a security for a loan. The lender is provided with an assurance of the standard of construction, which is backed by the issuing architect's professional indemnity insurance. THIS IS NOT A LATENT DEFECTS POLICY. The NHBC provide an insurance backed guarantee and should intervene to provide a remedy to a problem, although some are excluded in their 'small print'. In all cases the builder is liable for the first two years following practical completion.
A full building condition report, audited & 'signed off' by a suitably qualified building professional (eg: RIBA, RICS) enabling your mortgage lender to release funds.