How important is a piece of paper?

16th March 2022

In any property transaction, it is crucial to keep your documents together and in a safe place. Otherwise, you could end up in a very timely – and costly – situation, as the residential property team in Worcester recently discovered.

Headed by Karen Dodd, the team were recently instructed to act on the sale of a new-build property, a self-build which sold for £1.3m. The clients had the build overseen by professionals such as architects and employed builders, but some of the documentation -which one would normally expect such as a build guarantee and architect’s certificate – had been overlooked when the build was completed.

This may have been due to the fact that the clients were intending to live in the property themselves. However, their plans changed, and they made the decision to sell the property – this is when the missing documents came to light. Our team needed to obtain both the architect’s certificate and build guarantee retrospectively for the clients to sell the property and for it to be acceptable security for mortgage lenders. This turned out to be very lengthy and time consuming, adding three months to the sale process.

When selling any property, it is standard procedure to be asked for a copy certificate which may cover work such as a replacement windows, installation of a boiler or cavity wall insulation. All these works, and many others, can require building regulation consent, planning permission or consent from the landlord/freeholder. So, a seller is expected to be able to provide evidence of that consent by having the certificates and permissions in their possession.

Keep your all your property documents together and safe – it may well save you time later.

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