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Purchasing or building a property involves many challenges – one of which is making sure there are no defects with your property. But how do you know which kind of defect you are looking for? One Guarantee have put together a brief guide explaining the important differences between latent and patent defects.

What is a Latent Defect?

A Latent defect is one which could not have been reasonably discovered or apparent during the build process and may only become apparent in the months or years that follow the completion of the build. Such defects include a failure in design, materials used to complete the project or the workmanship to construct the project. If the issue is not detectable with reasonable care from all those involved, it is considered a Latent Defect.

Examples of a Latent Defect Include:

  • Issues with Foundations settlement that have not been discovered by the contractor pouring these or the surveyor present
  • A poorly designed roof which allows water ingress
  • A failure in the tanking and waterproofing made to a basement

What is a Patent Defect?

Unlike a Latent Defect, a Patent Defect is one which could have been reasonably discovered or apparent during the build process. This could be discovered by a contractor, a surveyor or any party involved in the build at any stage. Issues such as this should be reported and remediated in a reasonable amount of time, and any such issues should be fully remediated prior to issuing any certificates or sign off on the project.

Examples of a Patent Defect include:

  • Cracks to the Foundation that are visible when reasonably inspected.
  • A missing roof tile.
  • Woodwork on a property rotting during the build process

How do these differences impact you?

Any Patent defect in a property should be remediated within a reasonable timeframe and should not be signed off before the defect is addressed. However, a Latent defect, by definition may not be reasonably discovered before practical completion. This is why a One Guarantee latent defects insurance policy is crucial for any owner of new build properties as it would cover any insured latent defect under the policy.

At One Guarantee, we provide building warranties and latent defects insurance for residential and commercial properties throughout the UK. For more information on our range of structural warranties, please get in touch by telephoning 01603 218288 or emailling us.