Completion certificates

A completion certificate is proof that the building work has been carried out in accordance with Building Regulations and therefore is safe and legally safe. They were introduced in the mid-eighties.

Once a completion certificate has been issued to you it is advised that you keep it in a safe place (possibly with the deeds of your property). This is because when and if you should sell your property you will be asked if any alterations have been made to it, and if there have been, whether you have a completion certificate to prove it was done in accordance with Building Regulations.

If the work has not been satisfactorily completed further visits may be required before a completion certificate will be issued.

If work was satisfactorily completed, but you have misplaced your copy a replacement may be provided by Building Consultancy, but will cost £50 plus VAT.

If work did not have building regulations but they were needed, a Regularisation application will have to be made.

All of the above may hold up the sale of your property, so ensure you put your completion certificate in a safe place.

How to get a copy of the completion certificate

Our information is only available to the homeowner, or solicitor. The documents provided by a designer do however remain subject to copyright laws. Therefore, before any drawings, calculations or other documentation can be copied the designers consent will be required and should be provided with any request of documents.

Administration and copying charges are as detailed in the Council’s Scheme of Publication are detailed below. The aim of levying these charges is to avoid the burden of the costs falling on all Council Tax payers.

  • £50.00 + VAT (£60.00) for a search of our records only (payable on each separate property)
  • included in the above charge is a copy of any notice or completion certificate
  • £0.50 + VAT (£0.60) for A3 & A4 (including A3 & A4 plans) charge per single side  
  • £10.00 + VAT (£12.00) administration charge for copying of drawings in-house (max A3 size) 

Through an external company we also have the facility to copy microfilmed drawings back to their original paper size from microfilm and if you have a requirement for a large amount of drawings we offer a scanning facility to scan drawings on to CD Rom and index accordingly. There is an additional charge for this and prices are available on request. Please note that these requests may take longer than 10 working days.

Important information

  • all charges are non-refundable
  • we only retain records from 1990 onwards. Detailed information about individual properties prior to the beginning of this period may be obtained by contacting the Dorset History Centre
  • in relation to viewing the microfiche records, the fee will still apply and no unauthorised copying is permitted during the viewing of microfilms or copying of any documents by camera or any other means

All requests for information will generally be provided within 10 working days of receipt of requests where the necessary fees have been paid. Method of payment that we accept are: cash, cheque or debit/credit card.

Where verbal confirmation of site conditions or any outstanding contraventions/inspections etc. are required the matter will be passed to one of our District Surveyors for action. They will then determine the validity of the request and make a judgement about the extent to which information can be provided.

Is a completion certificate the same as a guarantee or warranty?

No. The completion certificate simply confirms that, as far as the Borough Council have been able to ascertain, the work on-site complies with the current Building Regulations. This means that inspections will have been carried out at the appropriate times, and that any problems found were put right.

If you are buying a new or altered property, always make sure your solicitor checks that a completion certificate has been issued for the work. This is particularly important if we find defects later, it may be you who is responsible for correcting then rather than the previous owner.

Page last updated: 20 May 2019
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