The majority of mortgage lenders will insist upon a Professional Consultant’s Certificate for all newly built or newly converted dwellings. The certificates can only be provided by suitably qualified consultants and our surveyors have extensive experience of inspecting new properties and conversions throughout the South West (primarily Devon, Cornwall & Somerset).
A Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC – formerly Architect’s Certificate) is a form that has been pre-approved by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) to certify that a consultant has monitored the construction of a property and that they will remain liable to the owner, and any lenders, for a period of six years from completion of the property. The property will be inspected during the course of construction or conversion with a minimum of five inspections taking place from :-
- damp proof course,
- first floor construction,
- roof structure,
- first fix,
We can provide Professional Consultant Certificate Services for new build and converted homes and in some instances are able to offer Retrospective Certificates. Our service is aimed at self-builders and small developers who do not meet the housing warranty providers’ eligibility criteria or would rather not deal with such providers. The certificates are backed by our Professional Indemnity insurance.
The effect of the PCC is to confirm that the professional consultant has visited the property at appropriate periods to check the progress of construction, conformity with drawings approved under building regulations and conformity with drawings/instructions issued under the building contract. A purely visual inspection of the work suffices. It is therefore recognised that, by their very nature, interim inspections will not reveal all defects. In addition, some certificates expressly exclude liability for poor workmanship.
It is important to note the following:
- The PCC is not the same as a structural warranty. In general, the scope of what it covers is, in isolation, considerably narrower than a structural warranty. The main purpose of the PCC is to give an opinion on the work-stage reached insofar as can be ascertained from periodic visual inspection and confirms apparent compliance with Building Regulations and the drawings/instructions properly issued under the Building Contract. This, in turn, allows the lender to release funds based on the information.
- The PCC does not impose a duty on the professional consultant to ‘supervise’ the Contractor’s work. That would imply a near constant presence on site. The professional consultant is simply under a duty to inspect the development at periods appropriate to the individual project.
- The PCC ‘does what it says on the tin’. It is, by its very nature, a limited certificate. The professional consultant (including the practice, if appropriate) can only be held liable for defects that ought reasonably have been apparent to him when fulfilling his inspection duties. Therefore, latent defects and those which a visual inspection would not reveal are not covered.