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    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 12th Oct 16, 7:58 PM
    • 37Posts
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    Canary_Yellow
    Professional consultants certificate
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:58 PM
    Professional consultants certificate 12th Oct 16 at 7:58 PM
    Does anyone know much about professional consultant's certificates and when they are required?


    We live in a Victorian terraced house that was refurbished extensively (but no changes structurally) in 2010.


    We got a mortgage with Santander when we bought the house from the builder that undertook the refurb. Prior to the refurb it was being used as a store or some other kind of light commercial activity. It was structurally a house, but not being used as one.


    We're selling and the purchaser is insisting that the house should have been subject to some kind of building warranty as a consequence of the refurb, but as it was not, we need to get a professional consultants certificate.


    The CML guidance for conveyancing is ambiguous on this. It refers to "conversion" but it is not clear that what happened to our house was a conversion as this term isn't really defined.


    Furthermore, if not having a warranty is an issue for obtaining a mortgage, why did we not have the problem when we bought the house?


    I'm loath to go out and obtain a professional consultants certificate, primarily because I don't understand why we require one, but also because I suspect it will be costly.


    Can anyone shed any light on this issue?
Page 1
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 8:36 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Canary_Yellow
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:36 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:36 AM
    No one has any experience of this?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Oct 16, 8:54 AM
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    davidmcn
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:54 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:54 AM
    If no structural changes I can't see the need. "Conversion" would be e.g. gutting a warehouse and building flats inside it.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 9:09 AM
    • 37 Posts
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    Canary_Yellow
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:09 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:09 AM
    That's what I thought but it's proving impossible to convince the purchaser.


    For completeness, the problem is that we're part exchanging with Redrow, so they don't actually need a mortgage but are trying to cover themselves against all risks associated with selling our house on. Normally, this would be driven by the requirements of the lender, but there is no lender in the case.


    Very frustrating. Their Moving Made Easy tag line looks extremely questionable right now.
    Last edited by Canary_Yellow; 13-10-2016 at 9:11 AM.
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 13th Oct 16, 9:24 AM
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    antrobus
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:24 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:24 AM
    ...The CML guidance for conveyancing is ambiguous on this. It refers to "conversion" but it is not clear that what happened to our house was a conversion as this term isn't really defined.....
    Originally posted by Canary_Yellow
    The CML guidance is pretty clear that the "purpose of the PCC is to confirm to the lender (or its conveyancer) that a professional consultant: has visited the property to check its progress of construction, its conformity with drawings approved under building regulations and its conformity with drawings/instructions issued under the building contract".

    https://www.cml.org.uk/lenders-handbook/pcc/

    Given the requirement to 'check the progress of construction' I can't see that it would be possible to now obtain a PCC.

    All you can do is to explain to your would be purchaser that no PCC was required when you purchased the property, and therefore no such document exists, and if they want "some kind of building warranty" it's down to them to get one.

    You may have to find another buyer.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 9:38 AM
    • 37 Posts
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    Canary_Yellow
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:38 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:38 AM
    Thank you for taking the time to respond, but it doesn't really help me move this forward.


    The key question here is the one you've highlighted; is what was done to our house a "conversion" for the purposes of the CML guidance for conveyancers.


    If it is, we should have a warranty. If it is not, we don't need one.


    If it is the former, then the PCC is an alternative to the warranty, I agree your points about whether it can be obtained now or not, but that's only of relevance once the first question has been answered.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 13th Oct 16, 9:40 AM
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    ACG
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:40 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:40 AM
    There is a question which asks about renovation - if this is ticked as yes it will usually result in more requirements (ie PCC). I dont have vast amounts of knowledge on this but I think you would be wise to draw up a list of works carried out and any changes of use etc and give that to the solicitors/agents to pass over to your buyers lender.

    To give an example, I bought my house 4 years ago. It needed everything, GCH, new electrics, internal and external doors, carpets, decorating, kitchen, bathroom etc. But that is not really a conversion or renovation it is more "home improvements".

    If you had knocked down a few walls and extended considerably then chances are you are going to need some sort of PCC which can be obtained from the builder or architect.

    Just ensure the applicant/broker has answered the question correctly. Find out which lender they are using and have a look online for a copy of their application form, you can find the question that is asked on there (it would normally be around the property details page).
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Canary_Yellow
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
    Thank you ACG.


    The problem is, we didn't do the work. We bought the house from a builder. So I don't have that level of detail.


    Also, as noted above, the purchaser is Redrow is a part-ex, so there is no mortgage lender to discuss with. Redrow are trying to get into a position whereby they are protected regardless of who ultimately buys the house from them.


    Going back to Antrobus's post regarding the purpose of a PCC, even if a relevant professional had been involved in what was done to our house in 2010, they wouldn't be able to check the progress of construction because that took place in c. 1870!
    • ACG
    • By ACG 13th Oct 16, 9:58 AM
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    ACG
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:58 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:58 AM
    If you do not know what work was carried out then you can not say it is not needed. I would say you have 2 options, sell it elsewhere or buy the PCC.

    I suppose you could go back to the builder but chances are it will be low on their list of priorities and you could be waiting a while.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 10:08 AM
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    Canary_Yellow
    Thing is though, if one is required, surely it would have been required when we bought the house too? So how did we get a mortgage without one if one was required.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 13th Oct 16, 10:29 AM
    • 801 Posts
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    teneighty
    Prior to the refurb it was being used as a store or some other kind of light commercial activity. It was structurally a house, but not being used as one.
    Originally posted by Canary_Yellow
    So it would probably have required Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval for the change of use back to residential.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 13th Oct 16, 11:18 AM
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    ACG
    Possibly not. It does not look like it is needed from a legal perspective and so Redrow are either going above and beyond or are unsure so taking the cautious route.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 12:12 PM
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    Canary_Yellow
    It did have the planning permission and building regs sign off, so yes that's right.

    Just not sure how that relates to the requirement to have a warranty. Maybe it doesn't at all?

    You're right ACG, their solicitors are being very cautious in dealing with something that isn't a legal requirement, and probably something that isn't within their comfort zone so are being very cautious.

    I'm worried that getting anything sorted now will be very expensive, particularly as I'm not convinced it's even needed!
    • ACG
    • By ACG 13th Oct 16, 12:18 PM
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    ACG
    I dont have much experience with them (1 mortgage a year ago and it was on a new build so not really the same situation), it cost £200 give or take. (Edit - I was going to delete this, but thought better to just add...I could be wrong on this). You would be best calling around some companies and asking. If it turns out to be peanuts then it may be easier to just get it done.

    I dont like part exchanges, I tend to find the housing company down values the property a fair bit.
    Last edited by ACG; 13-10-2016 at 12:23 PM.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 12:38 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Canary_Yellow
    Thanks ACG. I was hoping this would fall away, but if it doesn't, £200 ish doesn't sound bad. If on the other hand it were more than £500, that starts to sound like a lot of money.


    I agree with you re the part exchange, but the market isn't amazing at the moment if you're trying to sell a house in a hurry, so I don't think they'll get much (if any) profit on our house taking into account fees.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Oct 16, 1:58 PM
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    davidmcn
    You can't get a professional to retrospectively say they monitored the work, so they answer has to be that no PCC is available. If the work was just changing the use of the rooms and sticking in a kitchen and bathroom, say, then the buyers are barking up the wrong tree.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 2:09 PM
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    Canary_Yellow
    Thank you David - but how do I convince them of that?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Oct 16, 2:11 PM
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    davidmcn
    Thank you David - but how do I convince them of that?
    Originally posted by Canary_Yellow
    Ask them to specify exactly what work they think ought to have been supervised by a professional.
    • Canary_Yellow
    • By Canary_Yellow 13th Oct 16, 2:14 PM
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    Canary_Yellow
    Thank you - I'll see what I can do. I suspect though, they will come back with a vague unhelpful answer such as, "the conversion".
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Oct 16, 2:22 PM
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    davidmcn
    Thank you - I'll see what I can do. I suspect though, they will come back with a vague unhelpful answer such as, "the conversion".
    Originally posted by Canary_Yellow
    It will hopefully flush out either (a) that they know something you don't and that there ought to be such a certificate or (b) that they are clueless. But like I said, it's a moot point because there isn't a certificate available anyway, so they'll either need to take a view on it or tell you they're not proceeding and allow you to find a more sensible buyer.

    Are there statutory consents for the "conversion" and if so what do they reveal? If it used to be commercial then presumably there was at least planning consent for change of use?
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