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There’s a lot to think about when buying or selling a new-build property. As a home-buyer or developer, you want to make sure you get the maximum protection possible under your structural warranty to cover any issues that crop up.

To ensure you do, Alistair Danesh explores the differences between the two types of completion and what to expect when receiving your One Guarantee Warranty.

What is the difference between ‘practical completion’ and ‘legal completion’?

Practical completion refers to the date when the property is signed off by Building Control and a One Guarantee technical surveyor. At this point, it is deemed fit for purpose.

This is different from legal completion. This is the date when a buyer completes the purchase of their property and is able to move in.

How does this affect you?

For new-build residential units, the certificate of insurance is issued on the date of legal completion. This means the homeowner benefits from the full period of warranty cover.

This also ensures that the homeowner benefits from 2 years of defects liability, as well as all the benefits of the Consumer Code for New Homes. If there is deposit protection in place, this will also make sure the homeowner’s deposit is protected up until they complete their purchase.

It’s important to note that for private rental, blocks of flats and commercial properties, the date of practical completion is usually the warranty start date. That’s because these developments typically contain more communal areas that do not have an ‘owner’.

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