FENSA certificate is a regulation that a property investor most often discovers on the go when he/she starts investing within their journey.
Whilst there are many compliance certificates that an investor has to keep track of for a property, FENSA is one of those that has come into existence since April, 2002.
External doors and windows are considered as controlled fittings as per building regulations change in April 2002, which resulted in minimum standards to be applied when you replace them.
FENSA has taken its birth as compliance body to ensure the tradesmen or landlords adhere to those regulations changes.
What is FENSA Certificate?
FENSA has been set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) as a Competent Person Scheme that ensures compliance around thermal performance, safety, air supply, means of escape in the event of fire and ventilation when external doors and windows are replaced.
You have two ways of achieving such compliance.
You can check if the installer is a FENSA registered installer and if yes, you have got an easy job. The installer himself will ensure compliance of the replaced doors and windows and register your certificate with local authorities.
You can get doors and windows replaced by an unauthorised installer, however you will have to arrange for a building regulation officer to visit and review the installation and certify the installation at a cost.
What Does It Mean To Have It?
Having a FENSA certificate means the installer is assuring compliance of external windows and doors that are replaced along with roof windows and roof lights in a property.
Please note that this does not cover replacement windows and doors for conservatories, porches, new builds, extensions, repairs or for commercial properties.
This compliance further also means
- It covers energy efficient installation i.e minimal thermal heat loss through the doors and windows installed.
- Safety glazing, a feature that makes a glass used within doors and windows harder to break and minimises the danger posed by broken glass.
- Doors and windows provisioned are good enough on amount of ventilation they provide as per size of the rooms.
- Fire safety and there is enough means to escape in the event of fire.
- Compliance on accessibility into the building while replacing entrance doors specifically.
Is It A Legal Requirement?
Few sections of the community consider FENSA certification as waste of money and is another means for government to fill its pockets benefiting from property investors.
However, this has come into existence to avoid cow-boy tradesmen installing unfit doors and windows on properties and taking safety of homeowners or people living in the property into account.
Safety first always.
Like it or not, FENSA certification or through other equivalent bodies is a legal requirement if you have installed or replaced doors and windows, in or after April 2002.
Any earlier than April, 2002 you are not legally bound to have this certified.
How To Find If Your Build Team Have Registered Your Certificate?
You an always go to FENSA website and check if your tradesmen have registered their installation they have done for you with local authorities.
Here is a sample search on one of my properties where I have replaced doors and windows.
You can also order your registered FENSA certificate for your properties if you wish to, at a minimal cost of £20 from above website.
What To Do If You Don’t Have FENSA Certification?
There are few actions that you can take if you don’t have a FENSA certificate.
If you have purchased the property or are in process of purchasing, request your solicitor to secure FENSA certificate as part of your purchase.
You sure want to do this, given it costs you if you have to register and secure it on your own.
If you don’t have it from your seller then you will have to invite building regulations officer to ensure the installation of external doors or windows are accurate and are complaint with the regulations.
This will cost you money but well worth doing it to ensure property compliance.
If you don’t have it then you could think of an indemnity insurance after consultation with your solicitor to mitigate any risk of costs resulting from compliance enforcement.
Why Do I Need FENSA Certified Installers?
- A trusted successful body that ensures that work complies with building regulations, are energy efficient, and registered with the local council.
- FENSA registered tradesmen means the installer comes with guarantee of up to 10 years post installation covering atleast the cost of any repair work that needs to be carried out in the event of issues.
- Its seal of approved installers means that the installers are assessed regularly for adherence to building regulation changes from time to time.
- To cover your tenant safety and ensure you are not in trouble when things go wrong.