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From the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders (FML) Handbook for conveyancers: "Mortgage providers will generally only lend on a newly built, converted or renovated property where the property is covered by a warranty scheme (e.g. NHBC warranty) or a Professional Consultant's Certificate (PCC)". A PCC is perhaps still more traditionally and widely known as an 'Architect's Certificate'.

The UK FML represents circa 98% of UK mortgage lending. For both new build and barn conversions a FML PCC signed by a professional consultant (in my case as a Chartered Surveyor) is accepted by most high street mortgage lenders (but not all - as is similarly the case with many structural warranty schemes as provided by Buildzone, CRL, etc. - so please check if you have a specific lender in mind). A PCC comprises a speedier, more flexible and more competitively-priced mortgage-ready alternative to warranty schemes. In broad terms a PCC provides general assurance to a lender that structural building works have - in so far as can be reasonably determined from a series of visual inspections (typically 6 to 8 depending on the complexity of the build) - been generally constructed/converted in accordance with approved planning consent drawings and - where applicable - with drawings and specifications issued under the building regulations and/or under the building contract, as well as to a generally satisfactory standard. A PCC is provided in parallel with standard Local Authority Building Regulation Control (or Independent Assessors Building Regulations Control). Whilst it is principally the builder who is responsible and accountable if any structural defects subsequently appear after completion, a claim against the builder will not be possible if the builder is insolvent or, as an individual, has simply just disappeared. As such, lenders consider a PCC as an extra form of assurance as to the standard of construction. Once issued upon completion, any liability under the PCC remains in place for six years and I maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance providing up to £2m on an each and every claim basis. [Please note that a PCC is not an insurance policy, not is it a warranty (including any form of collateral warranty), guarantee or any form of 'latent defects' policy. Even under the terms of NHBC's flagship 'Buildmark' warranty scheme it is the builder is responsible for putting right defects or damage to the home and its common parts caused by any failure to build to NHBC standards arising during the first 2 years after completion.]

Many people undertaking residential new build and barn conversions don't actually require a mortgage and/or have no intention of selling in the foreseeable future. However, even in these circumstances having a PCC in place can still prove invaluable where - as quite frequently happens in life - a change in personal circumstances results in the property having to be sold a year or two after having been completed, or where an over-run on build costs results in a modest mortgage having to be put in place to complete the project. Whilst I can issue a PCC retrospectively - i.e. shortly after the project has been completed, lenders will invariably attach a greater risk to lending in such circumstances as I obviously will have only been able to undertake one inspection of the completed property rather than having been involved with the project from the outset. As such, lenders will either choose not to proceed at all or will reduce what they are prepared to advance in terms of loan to value and/or apply a higher interest rate. I can also issue Interim PCCs where mortgage funds are being stage-released at key constructional stages - as is often stipulated by many lenders for large extensions and/or renovation projects as well as new build and barn conversions. Please contact me for more details. [Fees will vary depending upon the complexity of the project and travelling distance involved.]



Please click on image below to view several new builds and barn conversions for which I have provided PCCs.

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