Conveyancing Explained – Does my seller have to provide me with a FENSA certificate for his windows?

FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme.

This is a relatively new scheme set up to ensure that all new windows comply with building regulations. The scheme enables window installers to certify that windows comply with Building Regulations without the need for a local authority inspection.

All windows installed since 1st April 2002 must have either a FENSA certificate or a building regulation completion certificate.

If you are buying with a mortgage, your mortgage lender will not release the funds until it can be shown to the satisfaction of your conveyancing solicitor that the windows meet regulations. This can be done in one of two ways:

  1. The seller can apply to local authority for retrospective building regulations consent which can be lengthy process.   If it is not granted then the Local Council may make you replace the windows.
  2. If the window was installed over a year ago then you can obtain indemnity insurance. This will pay for the cost of the replacement windows ONLY if the Local Authority takes enforcement action. This is much quicker and will probably be cheaper, but it can lead to problems – if the window is actually defective and needs to be replaced then the policy will not cover that.