Certificate of Compliance

Relevant alterations, additions or extensions to a property will require an Opinion / Certificate of Compliance with Planning Requirements and Building Regulations.

When any relevant alteration, addition or extension to a property has been carried out, a Certificate of Compliance or an Opinion on Compliance with Planning Requirements and Building Regulations is required.

Where an altered property is being sold, the onus is on the property vendor and the vendor’s solicitor to arrange an Opinion on Compliance / Certificate of Compliance as required. This is normally then prepared by a Registered Building Surveyor.

The responsibility to obtain any required certification from the vendor rests with the purchaser’s solicitor.

For the Purchaser of a Property

As part of our Pre-Purchase Survey, we identify evident alteration works for your information, so as to facilitate your solicitor requesting Compliance Certificates from the Vendor to confirm compliance with Planning and Building Regulations.

For the Vendor of a Property

We will inspect the relevant addition, alteration or extension to the property and prepare an Opinion / Certificate of Compliance to facilitate the sale. This should then be provided to your solicitor. Relevant advice will be given where deemed necessary as part of certification.

A Certificate of Compliance or Opinion on Compliance is typically prepared by an architect or registered building surveyor. It signifies that the work meets the required standards and regulations. It will be required when selling a property.

Some common examples of additions and alterations that require certification are:

Certificate of Compliance FAQ

What is a Certificate of Compliance?

A Certificate of Compliance is required for new construction, and for any relevant alteration, addition or extension to an existing property to confirm that all works are compliant with Planning and Building Regulations. A Certificate of Compliance is normally provided where we have supervised and periodically inspected works during construction.

What is an Opinion on Compliance?

An Opinion on Compliance is similar to a Certificate of Compliance, and is provided where the works to be certified have been carried out ahead of our involvement and were not supervised by us at the time of the work. This is quite normal and we frequently prepare Opinions on Compliance for property sellers. An Opinion on Compliance is based on a visual inspection of the completed works, and normally carried out at point of a property sale to facilitate the conveyance and to satisfy title for the solicitors involved.

Which do I need, a Certificate or Opinion on Compliance?

Most of our certification instructions come from a property vendor or vendor’s solicitor at the point of a property sale where the alteration, addition or extension is already in position, often for many years. In such case it is an Opinion on Compliance that is required.

Where necessary we will advise that any required ancillary Certificate of Compliance be provided for any structural elements, alongside our Opinion on Compliance or Opinion on Exemption. This is typically advised for wall removal work or attic conversion work, and where opening up work may be required to confirm compliance.

Where certain alterations have been carried out it may be unclear whether an Opinion on Compliance or Exemption will suffice, and particularly regarding any potential requirement for Planning or Retention Planning Permission. In this case we will normally advise that this be clarified by the Local Authority by your obtaining a Section 5 Declaration from them.


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