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Knowing which certificates are required to sell your property can be confusing. If you haven’t already done so, take a look at What Certificates Do I Need to Sell My House?, where you’ll find information about gas safety certificates, FENSA certificates and energy performance certificates. But what about a HETAS certificate? What is one and do you need to have one before you’re able to sell your property? Let’s find out…
HETAS is a non-profit organisation that works with government, industry experts and innovators to provide expert advice, training and clear evidence-based information. HETAS stands for Heating Equipment and Testing Approval Scheme and they’re the only specialist organisation that approves biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels and services in England and Wales (including the registration of installers and servicing businesses). Under the Competent Person Scheme (CPS), an installer registered with HETAS can self-certificate their own work, which means they don’t need to carry out Building Notice applications.
Solid fuel and wood biomass appliances and systems are subject to certain requirements of Building Regulations. This means that the local authority in an area must be notified of any installations that take place. If an installer is registered with HETAS, they can provide their customers with a compliance certificate without the need for time-consuming Building Notice applications to the local Building Control Department.
The HETAS certificate is important because it can validate home insurance and also be used during the home selling process. It can be provided in both physical and digital formats. When you receive the HETAS Certificate of Compliance that’s been completed and signed by the registered installer, it’ll be passed onto HETAS. The organisation will then notify your Local Authority Building Control Department (LABC) of the work that was undertaken, within 30 days of the job being completed.
Failure to notify the local authority of this certificate can cost the property owner up to £5,000. Certificates should be posted on the outside of the building where the heating unit was installed, and the installer may give the consumer a name plate to post containing important information.
It has been a legal requirement to notify authorities of installations since 2005. Certificates cannot be issued in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. For those locations, property owners must contact their local authorities when installing a heating unit.
The paper certificate must be completed and signed only by the HETAS Registered Installer who undertook the work.
There is an administration fee of £24 plus VAT for re-issuing a certificate. Meanwhile, copies of HETAS certificates of compliance can be ordered through HETAS’ online search. This means that even if you’ve misplaced the certificate that was issued to you, it is possible to obtain a copy so that it can be used to demonstrate compliance and safety.
As well as a HETAS certificate, what else should I pass to a buyer of my home?
A servicing and safety record sheet will be given to you following a service by a HETAS Approved Servicing Technician. This document indicates whether any corrective work is required, as well as what tests were performed during the service.
When selling your home, leave a copy of your most recent Servicing Record with the new owners so that they can validate the previous service and learn more about the appliance, as well as how it was serviced in the past.
Of course, if you (for example) fitted a wood burner by yourself, you won’t have a HETAS certificate. An ill-fitted stove could result in it becoming a fire risk, and there’s also the potential for it to release lethal carbon monoxide into your home and create pollution, causing a danger to life.
If you’re concerned about the safety of an installation, seek independent professional advice to assess the appliance and check it’s not going to endanger people in your home.
High levels of carbon monoxide can kill quickly, but because the gas is colourless, odourless and tasteless, it can be easily missed. Current UK law states carbon monoxide (CO) alarms must be installed in all residential buildings when a fixed solid-fuel burning appliance – such as a log burning stove – is installed.
Symptoms of CO poisoning can include:
The Katie Haines Memorial Trust – a charity raising awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide to prevent unnecessary loss of life – states that homeowners should get gas, oil and solid fuel appliances checked every 12 months by a HETAS engineer.
We hope you’ve found this article to be informative and helpful and explained to you more about HETAS certificates and why they’re important. If you are selling your property, and you have an appliance that wasn’t installed by a HETAS Approved Servicing Technician, speak to us about your free, no-obligation offer for a cash sale, or send an email.