Selling a property is often a complicated and difficult task, especially when navigating the various insurance requirements associated with newly constructed homes.
No matter which type of property you are constructing and selling, it’s crucial to set up a suitable warranty that can cushion your financial investment in the project – and the future investment of the buyer and their finance provider.
While such warranties are typically arranged at the planning stage, it’s not always possible or practical to do so before work begins or before the project is finished.
In these cases, getting the right cover to transfer from builder to buyer isn’t always easy. Or, if you are a buyer with your heart set on a property that doesn’t have this cover, what can you do?
Here’s what you might want to know about getting a Building Warranty after construction is already complete.
Also known as a Structural Warranty, a Building Warranty is a key component in the framework of insurance for a completed building. It gives the buyer and owner reassurance that the building was signed off as being completely safe, and reassures both the seller and buyer that there is a way to cover financial costs if any defects are discovered later on.
Without a Building Warranty, sellers will find it hard to persuade potential buyers that the property is safe to invest in. Most buyers will at least partially rely on a mortgage lender, too, and lenders are unlikely to finance their purchase if there is no proof of a warranty that can protect their investment.
This is where post-completion or retrospective Building Warranties come in – offering a resolution to appease all parties by ensuring compliance with regulations to a satisfactory level and streamlining the completion of the property sale.
Typically, a Building Warranty provider will expect you to apply before any actual building work commences. This is because part of providing the warranty relies on the ability of a chartered surveyor to monitor the progress of construction at key points in the timeline, ensuring that no errors go unmissed.
If you apply partway through, fewer inspections are possible, which increases the risk of an earlier mistake going undetected – and if you apply after the building is finished, this allows only one inspection of the completed structure, increasing the possibility of latent defects even further.
For this reason, the single inspection that takes place post-completion will be as comprehensive as possible, and the finished property must strictly meet the technical standards required to pass.
If it doesn’t, the warranty cannot be issued until the problems found are fixed. In some cases, if certain concerns are unable to be identified or rectified from the survey, limited coverage may be provided with these elements excluded.
With more at risk, issuing retrospective warranties requires a higher level of trust and exacting standards of expertise, which is why post-completion warranties are likely to have higher premiums – but the protection they provide is surely worth it.
Whether you’re a developer or builder who ran into issues with securing a warranty in time, or a prospective homebuyer hoping to rectify a seller’s oversight in failing to set one up, you’ll be glad to know that there are still options available.
When you come to us at Architects Certificate, we can discuss your circumstances in detail and help you to find the right cover for your completed construction project or ready-to-buy home.
We provide Building Warranties for a variety of property types, at various stages – so you’re sure to find a transferable Building Warranty that suits your needs.
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