Is the Completion Certificate a guarantee?

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    Is the Completion Certificate a guarantee?

    The developer of our block of flats was given a Completion Certificate in about 2008.
    Problems have come to light which indicate non-compliance to B Regs, according to at least 2 independent Chartered surveyors.

    We are trying to get him to accept this fact, but he keeps denying it, saying that since he has the Comp Cert, it is PROOF that it met B Regs.

    A local Council website says

    "A completion certificate is proof that the building work has been carried out in accordance with Building Regulations and therefore is safe and legally safe. They were introduced in the mid-eighties."

    but then goes on to say

    "The completion certificate simply confirms that, as far as the Borough Council have been able to ascertain, the work on-site complies with the current Building Regulations. This means that inspections will have been carried out at the appropriate times, and that any problems found were put right."

    The two statements seem to be in conflict. I have been trying to find a legal definition (eg .gov.uk etc) of what the Completion Certificate is - possibly to use in a legal claim against the developer and compliance (or not) will be a key point.

    Can anyone advise me where I can find thisk?

    Thanks

    #2
    A completion certificate is issued by Building Control (or the Approved Inspector) once the works are completed to a satisfactory standard. It is not a guarantee for Contractors / Developers to hide behind as there is a element of trust involved that the contractor completes the works as per the examples the inspectors have been shown / inspected.

    If you are suing the Developer - who is the correct person to sue - then you (as the plaintif) have to prove the works do not comply with the relevant regulations at the time of construction. The current regulations are irrelevant. Was the detail in question approved by Building Regs (BC or AI)?

    As it is a development I am assuming there are multiple properties. Do all the properties in the development have the same detail?

    Frankly, this is pretty basic stuff and your Chartered Surveyor(s) can explain this definatively as they have seen the properties.
    There is always scope for misinterpretation.

    If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

    Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

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      #3
      Thank you for that confirmation. I have actually found words that say the 'Certificate is evidence, but not conclusive evidence' of compliance. So that helps my confidence.

      The developer is playing hard-ball, and many of the other residents are scared of suing, so it looks as if I will be going it alone, maybe just to establish a principle for the others.

      We have surveyors reports confirming the non-compliance - evidenced by substantial condensation in a partly flatroofed apartment block. Sadly the plans were approved (BC) but the design doesn't have the insulation/ventilation features one would expect. So we are using the fact of severe condensation as evidence that it doesn't meet C2 of BRegs.

      We are just about to brief our solicitor and start proceedings, and I am just trying to ensure our case is robust.

      Thanks for your interest.



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