Professional Consultants Certificate

Professional Consultants Certificate

The Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC) is a legal document that confirms that a particular building was constructed satisfactorily. It must be issued by a qualified consultant that is approved and listed in the CML Handbook. Previously, the PCC was known as an architect’s certificate or a CML certificate. You may need to get a PCC certificate if you intend to take out a mortgage on the property. It shows the lender that the property was built in accordance with drawings and instructions that were approved in the building contract.

What is a Professional Consultants Certificate?

PCC were previously known as architect’s certificates, and this name is still commonly used around the UK. This certification confirms that a professional consultant has monitored the progress of the building work. During the construction period, the provider of the certificate will give you a letter confirming that they will be supervising the construction. In some cases, this letter is required by mortgage lenders.

architects certificate

What is Covered by a Professional Consultants Certificate?

A PCC isn’t a warranty. It doesn’t provide cover for structural defects in the property. This document only offers peace of mind to the homeowner and mortgage lender as it shows that the project was properly constructed. In the case of a structural defect, the architect may be liable. It is important to note that negligence must be proven in court for the architect to cover the cost of repairs. Note that they will only be liable if they are solvent and trading at the time. Also, the architect must maintain a sufficient level of professional indemnity insurance for the entire time that the certificate will be valid.

PCCs are only issued after satisfactory completion of a building, and they are valid for 6 years from the date of completion. After these 6 years, you won’t be protected by a PCC.

For a more comprehensive cover, you can consider getting a structural warranty. This cover lasts for 10 years and covers the cost of repairs or even a complete rebuild of the property. In case the building develops structural issues, you will get immediate compensation without having to prove negligence. While structural warranties have many benefits over PCCs, PCCs are a good alternative for homeowners who don’t have money to spare. You should note that both covers can be used to obtain a mortgage.

When Should I Take a Professional Consultants Certificate?

A PCC will be essential in cases where the owner of the property needs to sell the building, and the buyer needs a mortgage to afford the house. You may also need this certificate if you want to rent out the property and wish to release equity by taking out a mortgage. PCCs are usually issued at the end of the construction period.

architects certificate

Who Can Issue Professional Consultants Certificates?

PCCs are most commonly issued by architects, but other consultants with the necessary qualifications can also issue the certificate. These qualifications are listed in the CML handbook. It is worth noting that the consultants will usually need to have been involved in the construction of the buildings. This way, they can be certain that everything was done in the right way. This is one reason why retrospective PCCs are rarely issued.

Many mortgage lenders in the UK accept PCCs. However, the issuer of the certificate may determine whether you will qualify for the mortgage. To make sure you can trust the issuer of the certificate, it’s always important to confirm that they belong to a professional body like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. They must also have their own professional indemnity insurance as claims will be enforced through their insurer. The building will be certified with a copy of the provider’s professional indemnity insurance. It is a good idea to check the level of insurance the architect holds as this can determine their ability to cover negligence claims.

Another tip: Before you buy a PCC, you should check the track record of the consultant. If they have had many claims made against them, you should avoid them as they may not be thorough in their inspection.

Should You Take a Warranty or Professional Consultants Certificate?

If you have a newly-built property, you can either take out a warranty or a PCC. Most people choose PCCs because they are cost-effective. You may even receive generous discounts if you have a number of properties to certify. Additionally, architects offer flexible payment options for the PCCs.

While they can be great for people who wish to save money, architect’s certificates won’t be suitable for everyone.

First, you should remember that PCCs aren’t insurance policies. That means they won’t automatically cover any repair costs of your home. Claims against the consultant will only be for negligence and will be covered by the architect’s professional indemnity insurance. If the architect becomes insolvent, the insurance may lapse, and this will leave you without any cover.  

If you want comprehensive cover, you should consider getting a structural warranty or latent defects insurance. This warranty covers any defects in the design, workmanship, or even construction materials of the building. In case of any defects, the insurer will pay out immediately. This warranty will cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding the project. If you need alternative accommodation during the repair period, the warranty will also cover these costs.

Structural warranties are guaranteed to be valid for the full period since they are first-party insurance policies. PCCs only last for 6 years. As noted earlier, they may become invalid if the architect becomes insolvent. In contrast, a structural warranty will last for 10 to 12 years. These warranties are accepted by all UK mortgage providers. Although PCCs are recognised by many lenders, they aren’t as widely accepted in the UK.

How Much Does a Professional Consultants Certificate Cost?

The cost of a PCC will vary depending on the build cost and gross internal floor area (GIFA) of the unit, but is cheaper than a structural warranty. You can contact our team to get a quote for your project.

Frequently asked questions

Does a Professional Consultants Certificate cover defects in my house?

A PCC doesn’t work as a warranty. You will only be covered if you can prove that the consultant was negligent in their inspection.

Is a Professional Consultants Certificate the same as a structural warranty?

No, a PCC isn’t the same as a structural warranty. It doesn’t cover any structural defects in the building and will only guarantee that the building was constructed according to the set standards.

Why should I buy a Professional Consultants Certificate?

You should buy a PCC if you want to get a mortgage for your property. It can be an alternative to a structural warranty and would suit homeowners who don’t have much to spend on a warranty.

Is a Professional Consultants Certificate transferrable?

Yes, PCCs are transferred whenever the property is sold to new owners. Once the certificate is issued, it won’t need to be renewed and can automatically be transferred to the new owner. The issuer of the certificate will then be liable to the owner and lender for the remainder of the six years.

What happens when the consultant becomes insolvent?

If a consultant becomes insolvent or stops trading, you will no longer be covered. This is why it is essential to obtain a PCC from A-rated warranty providers. Also, you should check the claims record of the consultant. A reputable architect will carry out a thorough inspection of the property, and this minimises the chances of a claim.      

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