This blog post aims to answer the question of how you can get a Fensa certificate from the council. While we will mainly focus on the process for attaining a Fensa certificate in the following content, we will also discuss the importance of this certificate and the reasons why you would need one. Additionally, we will also share some alternatives for homeowners who are unable to get a Fensa certificate.
How Do I Get A Fensa Certificate From The Council?
You can get a Fensa certificate from the council by contacting the local council office, providing them with the details of the building work done on your property and paying the required fee. However, you must keep in mind that what the councils provide is not the actual Fensa certificate but an alternative to the document; which is called a Building Regulations Certificate. This document is issued to residents who have had building work such as installation of doors or glazed windows installed on their property from a company that is not Fensa certified.
The Building Regulations Certificate is issued by the Building Regulations department of your local council and serves as a certificate of compliance and is subject to the approval of certain building work carried out on the property. If you are unable to attain this document from your local council, you can request a Retrospective Building Regulation Compliance Certificate from them. While the document aims to serve the same purpose, it usually takes 2 months for the council to provide you with one and that too against a fee that ranges from £300 to £400.
Meanwhile, Fensa certificates are only issued by a Fensa-registered installation company whose services you may have used for the installation of doors or glazed windows. It can take between 2 to 4 weeks after the building work is done on your property for the certificate to arrive. If you have misplaced or lost the original certificate you can order a duplicate copy from the Fensa website. This service is provided by your installation company for a fee of £25.
Why Do I Need A Fensa Certificate?
You need a Fensa certificate to prove that the double-glazed windows and doors installed in your house meet Building Regulations and the requirements set by the local council authorities. It also indicates that the building works done on your property are registered with the local council. These are essential requirements for homeowners who intend to or are in the process of selling their property. In the absence of a Fensa certificate or its alternative, you will not be able to proceed with a sale.
The Fensa certificate applies to window or door installations that have been carried out after 1st April 2002. If you do not have a Fensa certificate, you should contact the installation company at the earliest possible to get a copy. Failure to have this certificate can lead to enforcement notices or even prosecution by the council.
You can check whether or not the work carried out on your property was executed by a Fensa-approved installer by visiting the FENSA website. If this is not the case, you will need to get in touch with your local council office to seek a Building Regulations Certificate.
What Should I Do If I Don’t Have A Fensa Certificate?
If you don’t have a Fensa certificate, the first thing that you should do is contact the installation company from where you had your building works done. Ideally, they should have issued a certificate to you on completion of the installation on your property (their quote for installation usually includes a Fensa certificate). If a Fensa certificate was issued to you but is lost, you can ask them to issue a duplicate copy against a nominal fee of £25. This is only possible if the company is Fensa-registered. If that is not the case, you will have to apply to your local council office for a Building Regulations Certificate that serves the same purpose for installation companies that are not registered with Fensa.
The third option is to apply for a Retrospective Building Regulation Compliance Certificate against a fee of £300 to £400.
If the installation work on your property was done more than a year ago, you can also get Double Glazing Building Regulations Indemnity Insurance. In this case, you should make sure that the insurance policy covers the costs involved in case the installation does not comply with Building Regulations.
What Are The Building Regulations That I Need To Follow?
Building Regulations that you need to follow include the ones listed below:
- New windows, doors or fixed air-conditioning systems should meet the safety and design standards set by Building Regulations.
- Installation of a new bathroom or kitchen should not affect the overall plumbing of the house.
- Installation of heating appliances such as a boiler, radiator or fuel-burning appliance should be managed with extreme caution.
- There should be no concern for fire hazards due to construction work and the escape route (of the added/converted section to the premises) must comply with fire safety standards.
- Structural changes such as house extensions or conversions should not affect a load-bearing wall, beam or chimney breast which will make access to the property difficult.
- There should be no electrical safety concerns due to the addition of fuse boxes or plugs, or a change of electrics that causes new electrical wiring.
If someone carries out modifications to their property without seeking approval from Building Control or they occupy a new property without a completion certificate, the residents will be considered to be committing an offence by contravening Building Regulations. In this case, the local authority may take enforcement action and residents may have to appear in a magistrate’s court for a hearing before being issued a penalty.
You need to comply with Building Regulations to make sure that your property is not only safe and hazard-free but also improves the overall living standard for you and your surroundings.
The above discussion has laid out the process for getting a Fensa certificate from the council. However, it should be noted that the council is only able to provide an alternative to this certificate that proves that the installations in one’s house comply with Building Regulations and council requirements. The actual Fensa certificate (or its copy) is provided by Fensa-certified installation companies.