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Missing FENSA certificates — how important are they?(18 Posts)
Our vendor has provided FENSA certificates for some of the window/door replacements in their property since 2002, but not for all of them. When asked for some kind of documentation regarding the other window/door replacements (we know there have been more), they responded saying they have provided all available paperwork.
Note that we checked the property address on the FENSA website, and the only certificates available are the ones they provided us with.
How big a deal is this? What should we do? We believe it relates to a relatively small number of windows/doors, so it's not like it's the whole property.
There's not much you can do practically, but this isn't an uncommon issue and I personally wouldn't be worried at all.
You/the vendor will be able to get a cheap insurance policy for the missing certificates.
I've always felt like FENSA and the insurers are in cahoots with each other!
I didn’t have them and I was given the option of paying £180 for indemnity insurance (which I declined as the windows were old, needed replacing anyway, and I’d priced the house to take account of that). Sale went through fine.
To be clear, we know that a glazed door and window were replaced about 5 years ago, apparently without any documentation, so I would've thought they should have at least some paperwork available. Would it still not concern you?
There is also no stamp to indicate the use of safety glass (as flagged in our survey), which according to this: www.nhbc.co.uk/binaries/content/assets/nhbc/tech-zone/nhbc-standards/tech-guidance/6.7/marking-of-safety-glass.pdf means that safety glass was not used.
Fensa certificates mean they meet building regs requirements which provides reassurance that things have been done "by the book". Have you had your survey done? If so, did it pick up anything about the windows that was concerning? If not, they've been in for 5 years, I'd say it's probably ok.
There are plenty of competent people who can replace windows but don't want to deal with maintaining registration (e.g. general builders who might only do 3/4 a year). They can get building regs sign off, but this generally costs money so customers don't bother.
@BuyingWoes no, still wouldn't concern me. Anyone who thinks the paperwork and back up docs for buying a house are all going to be neatly available is setting themselves up for disappointment!
I would bear in mind though, when you come to sell you will also need to get your buyers comfortable with the lack of FENSA certificate. You should be able to assign your insurance policy to them, although in reality it tends to be quicker/easier to just pay for a new policy (hence why I reckon they're in cahoots!)
Ours windows were FENSA registered and only a couple of years old when we bought our house, and they came with a 5-year guarantee/insurance policy issued by the installation company. However when one of the windows developed an issue, the installation company ignored all attempts at contact, we couldn’t ever get through on the number for the insurance policy and FENSA were no help, so we ended up arranging and paying for the repair ourselves. I realise that FENSA covers installation standards rather than being a guarantee but the issue that we had was linked to faulty installation, so we couldn’t really see the point of FENSA.
Wouldn't bother me in the slightest. I think it's part of buying a house that you have to accept that some documentation won't be available for something. No fensa certificate for 20 year old windows will be the least of your worries.
@Hallyup6 This was for 5-year old windows (I only mentioned 2002 because that's when FENSA certificates were introduced).
@BuyingWoes what is your solicitor advising are you other options? The vendor replaces all of the windows/doors with missing certificates and gets new certificates? Or knocks the cost of the price off your purchase price? Your vendor appears to have been as upfront as possible with you, but they can't conjure up a document that doesn't exist!
FENSA is not the only windows certification scheme; CERTASS is another.
Only in that the same issue will be raised when you sell. You are not going to get chased by building control over the odd window, or anything really after a few years.
Really wouldn't bother me at all. If you've had a survey/home buyers report that would have picked up any issues with them.
The surveyor picked up the fact that one glazed door, which we know to have been replaced ~5 years ago, didn't have the safety stamp to indicate the use of safety glass. There is no certificate for that work. Other than that I don't think he had any particular issues with the windows (well, other than them being quite old, and having outside beading, but I guess that's par for the course with older houses).
Would you expect future buyers try to haggle over things like this, or would they just accept it (with or without indemnity insurance)?
Our solicitor thinks we should haggle over various things, but we don't think our vendor will take kindly to that based on some earlier interactions, and we don't want to lose the house over, say, the cost of replacing a door (assuming that's the worst-case scenario).
I wouldn't care about the lack of FENSA as it doesn't relate to the quality of the job or materials at all, but I would have a good look at the windows - so many cowboys in that trade & the finish can often be shocking.
You'll find most people will have had work done but lack the paper work, it's really very common tbh. Doubt you'll find many with every certificate for every window. It wouldn't put me off x
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