What is an architect’s certificate?
An architect’s certificate is a document provided by an architect, confirming their role in overseeing the construction of a building. It is a vital document for a homebuyer to have if they intend to purchase a new-build house with the help of a mortgage.
The certificate should be issued either by a chartered architect or by a qualified surveyor. It typically lasts for six years, although it is possible to purchase an extended form of cover that would last longer than the normal six-year period.
Why is a certificate necessary?
A newly built property has no track record. As such, the bank or building society being asked to lend on that property wants to know it is fit for purpose and worth the amount it is being sold for. They are unlikely to lend if you cannot produce an architect’s certificate to prove this.
Upon seeing the certificate, the lender knows that the property you are seeking a mortgage for has been built to current standards. It is essentially a form of security – it tells the lender that yes, the property is fit for sale and has been constructed to a reputable quality.
Is there an alternative to getting an architect’s certificate?
Yes, an alternative would be an NHBC warranty or equivalent recognised document. NHBC stands for the National House Building Council. The warranty they produce is known as the Buildmark warranty, and it gives homebuyers protection against faults in the building for 10 years. As such, the document would also provide confirmation to the lender of the build quality of the new home.