Can you get a retrospective warranty for a completed house?
Whichever type of property your development may be, structural warranties are essential if you want to protect your investment. It’s best to have such a warranty in place before construction even begins, but here at Architects Certificate, we know that isn’t always possible.
This leaves many homebuyers wondering: can you get a retrospective structural warranty after completion? If construction has already finished and you’re looking for the answer to this question yourself, have a read through our completed house warranty blog below.
Though you may have heard of a retrospective Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC), these aren’t the same thing as a retrospective structural warranty. If you want a higher level of financial protection, you should opt for a 10-year structural warranty rather than a 6-year PCC.
Not only does a PCC have a shorter period of cover, but it also doesn’t guarantee compensation in the event of a structural defect. You’ll have to go to court and prove that the builder, developer, or architect is at fault. However, a structural defects warranty allows you to make a direct claim.
You can have both a PCC and a structural warranty at the same time, with concurrent periods of cover, but this isn’t really necessary. If you want to save money upfront, a PCC will be cheaper – and you can always apply to upgrade it to a structural warranty later if you want further coverage.
A completed house warranty is more of a generic term that can apply to either a retrospective PCC or a retrospective structural defects warranty. It depends on the type of cover that you choose to apply for. In any case, the same legal limitations apply to both types of architects’ certificate.
The issue with leaving your application until after the building is already finished is that the warranty provider won’t be able to carry out progressive inspections throughout the duration of the build. There will normally be at least six inspections from the start of the project to completion.
If it’s only possible to perform one post-completion survey, and the surveyor finds any structural problems at this stage, it may be too late to address them – at least not without even more work and increasing expenses. They cannot issue a completed house warranty if it fails this survey.
The limitation of a post-completion warranty is that the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), now UK Finance, only allow providers to issue these warranties retrospectively if the contract doesn’t vary from the original CML-prescribed terms.
This means you cannot change the wording, so the level of liability won’t change, either. The warranty will exist and be enforceable as though the property was inspected from the very start, holding the contracted parties liable from the outset.
Since a full building condition survey after completion must be much more intensive, and the provider is accepting a higher degree of risk, a retrospective warranty will also come with higher costs than if you engaged their services at the beginning or even partway through.
If your completed house fails to comply with the required technical standards, you won’t be able to get a warranty. Even if the property passes the inspection well, your contract will apply from the actual date of completion, not the later date when the certificate is issued.
In summary, a completed house warranty will apply in exactly the same way as an original PCC or structural defects warranty would. For this reason, it’s not actually possible to get a retrospective architects’ certificate that applies from a date beyond the building completion.
Now you know all about structural warranties for completed houses, why not contact us to request a completed house warranty quote? As providers of Professional Consultants’ Certificates and structural warranties for all types of properties, the Architects Certificate team could help you.
Whether you just want the peace of mind that your home is as financially protected as possible, or you’re completing home renovations and need a new warranty, we can supply transferable certificates for eligible properties. Call 0161 928 8804 or email email@example.com for more details.