What is legal completion?

Structural warranty insuranceIf you’re buying or selling a new-build property, you probably have a long list of things to think about to ensure things go smoothly. But as a developer, you’ll also want to make sure you get as much protection as possible from your structural warranty to ensure you’re covered if any issues pop up in the future.

To help you get maximum protection from your cover, Alistair Danesh from our partners at One Guarantee outlines the differences between practical completion and legal completion, as well as what you can expect from your One Guarantee Warranty.

In what ways are ‘practical completion’ and ‘legal completion’ different?

When Building Control and a One Guarantee technical surveyor sign off your property, this is called practical completion. This is because at this point the property is deemed fit for purpose.

Legal completion, on the other hand, does not occur until the buyer completes the actual purchase of the property and is then able to move in.

How do these completion dates affect me?

A certificate of insurance for new-build residential properties is issued upon the date of legal completion, which is when a buyer can move in. As a result, the new homeowner can reap the rewards of a full period of warranty cover.

This also means that the new homeowner can enjoy 2 years of defects liability, in addition to all of the advantages that come with the Consumer Code for New Homes. Deposits will also be protected until completion if additional deposit protection is in place.

When it comes to commercial properties, blocks of flats and private rentals, things are a little different. In these cases, the date of practical completion is usually used as the start of the warranty period. The reason for this is that these kinds of developments usually have more communal areas, none of which have a specific owner.

Find out more about One Guarantee’s products

Want to find out more about our products and services? Feel free to get in touch via email or by calling 01603 218288 or contact the Guild office for more details.


One Guarantee is a trading style of One Guarantee Ltd. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority