PRC Certified Repairs/Re-Builds

PRC Certificates

PRC Certified Repairs/Re-Builds

PRC is an abbreviation of Pre-Cast Reinforced Concrete and was the principal material used in the construction of houses that were mainly built in the period after the Second World War, filling the gap left by the bomb damage and the need to rehome returning military personnel. In the early 1980's it was discovered that deterioration of the reinforcing steel could, in time, lead to the cracking of the concrete panels; and with obvious potential dangers PRC houses were designated defective.

However PRC properties are often in excellent locations with good sized accommodation and spacious gardens, making them very popular and, once repaired, highly desirable.

Properties of non-traditional construction including PRC House variants Airey, Unity, Cornish, Wates, Reema, Orlit and Hawksley can all undergo a fully licensed structural repair, which leads to the issuing of a PRC Certificate by a fully qualified PRC Structural Engineer. This Certificate legally proves that the PRC Property in question, has been brought up to the required construction standard recognised by banks and building societies for the purpose of mortgage lending.

The various types of PRC Homes we deal with all require different repairs in order to make them compliant with the required mortgage criteria. This often involves the removal of or making redundant the existing concrete pillars, blocks and internal beams. With many PRC Repairs it is possible for the occupants to remain in residence whilst the work is undertaken with others it is not. We are able to give guidance in the initial stages of contact regarding this issue, so that long term plans can be made in good time.

Certain PRC Home repairs on PRC Properties such as Wates and Reema, have previously been dealt with by treating the concrete in order to try and stem the erosion and stabilise the load bearing walls, a brick skin is then built around the concrete for aesthetic purposes. We now know that this particular method has become more and more unacceptable to mortgage lenders and as such we will only ever recommend a full PRC Homes licensed repair for these types of PRC Properties.

Once repaired to the standard required and a PRC Certificate issued the traditional brick exterior finish will transform the look of the house and will ensure mortgageability for the current and future owners of the property. As a property it then becomes a viable equity asset within current market values and a home that you will be delighted and reassured with.

Airey PRC Houses

We are receiving increasing numbers of enquiries from owners or purchasers of Airey houses that are not able to satisfy mortgage lenders criteria with the documentation they have. This is often because although the external repair works have been completed the internal load bearing columns have not been dealt with.

PRC Homes can offer advice on the following in all areas of the country:

  • PRC Certificate and Re-Certification
  • Right to Buy
  • Buying from the Council
  • Mortgage Broker experienced in dealing with PRC purchases
  • Building Control and introductions to PRC experienced solicitors
  • PRC Certificate of structural completion issued by an independent, qualified Structural Engineer which will satisfy lending criteria.

If you would like to know more about how PRC Homes UK can help you then in the first instance please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.

Some Pros and Cons of purchase and repair:

  • The purchase and repair of PRC houses has become very popular, you may have noticed houses in your area which have been repaired and there are a number of reasons why purchase and repair make good sense.
  • As an existing tenant the local authority will calculate your discounted purchase price dependent upon how long you have been a qualifying tenant; discounts are subject to a maximum amount, which is usually defined by area.
  • Rents are rising and mortgage rates remain relatively low, meaning that buying your property may be more affordable than you think.
  • The rise in property prices means that a repaired PRC Property in your area is likely to be worth considerably more than unrepaired, giving increased equity.
  • It is possible that ‘Right to Buy' may be withdrawn in the future and so there is no time like the present to get onto the property ladder.
  • The cost of heating a repaired house of traditional construction is likely to be less than an unrepaired house.
  • Once you have purchased and repaired your PRC Home it is possible to sell without restriction or re-mortgage to realise the equity in the property.
  • If you have no plans to move now or in the future then, if repaired, you are living in what is likely to be an appreciating asset rather than drain on your resources.

In line with the advice from the Financial Regulators, please think carefully before securing any debt against your home. Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage and other debt secured on it.

PRC Certificates

There are many issues that owners and prospective purchasers of PRC Homes face, one of the most consistent problems is that of mortgageability. The majority of Mortgage Lenders will not lend on these homes unless a structural repair has been carried out, this repair must be in accordance with an approved PRC licence and supervised by an approved PRC inspector.

Banks and Building Societies will want to see legal evidence of the repair in the form of a PRC Certificate of Structural Completion issued by the inspector, the inspector in this instance must be a fully qualified Structural Engineer, preferably with experience in dealing with PRC Homes.

The issues faced by both owner/occupiers and investors are twofold, the first being an unrepaired property where little or no work has been undertaken since its construction and secondly repaired houses where no PRC Certificate is available.

Woolaway PRC Homes 1946 to 1956

The first of these issues is relatively straightforward to overcome but is dependent on the original construction of the property. Repair systems are available for many of the PRC Property types but some variants are more complicated and time consuming than others. In general the work involves removing or making redundant the load bearing concrete elements of the property and rebuilding them with traditional materials.

Gaining a PRC Certificate with a full repair is costly, potentially disruptive and varies for each type of PRC Property. With many PRC Repairs it is possible for the occupants to remain in residence whilst the work is undertaken with others it is not. We are able to give guidance in the initial stages of contact regarding this issue, so that long term plans can be made in good time.

The second of these issues can be a little more complicated to deal with, over the years many different Engineers, Local Authorities and construction companies have come up with and carried out their own solutions to the PRC problem, some of these may be acceptable to lenders others are definitely not.

In some cases works have been undertaken on properties but no documentation is available to prove the suitability of the repair. Local Authorities often carried out repair programs but never issued PRC Certificates, alternatively documentation and evidence of repair has been lost over the years. This is a key issue and continues to prevent existing and prospective owners from raising the finance required.

This issue can often be overcome as long as the repair was carried out correctly. PRC Homes UK are happy to consult on the re-certification of a correctly repaired property or will provide a report and recommendation on repairs that do not meet the required standard as set down in the Housing Defects Act 1984.

If you wish to discuss these issues or you have any concerns about an existing PRC Certificate please contact us.

PRC Certificate issues to be aware of:

We have seen a lot of activity with regard to missing PRC Certificates and there is currently a lot of misinformation being circulated about PRC Repairs. If you are dealing with a repaired PRC Property and need PRC Certification please ensure that the certificate is both original and issued by a qualified Structural Engineer.

If you are offered a PRC Certificate that does not confirm the property has been repaired to the correct standard then please contact us or seek other professional advice before committing to purchase.

Professional advisors should be particularly aware as there have been a spate of negligence claims, many due to unqualified inspectors signing off repairs.

Checklist:

  • Is the PRC Certificate an original or copy?
  • Was it issued by an experienced and qualified PRC Structural Engineer?
  • If the PRC Certificate has been issued retrospectively, what investigations were carried out to ascertain the validity of the repair?

Missing or Lost PRC Certificates:

If a PRC Certificate is not available there is usually a very good reason, some do genuinely get lost over the years but in many cases a PRC Certificate has never been issued.

If a PRC Certificate has never been issued then an intrusive inspection of the property must be carried out to establish what repair was done and to what standard. This process involves exposing certain parts of the property for inspection by a PRC Structural Engineer. They will then be able to tell if a full repair has been completed and whether it reaches the required standard for PRC Certification. On many occasions it has not, so additional works would be needed to bring the property up to full PRC Homes repair standards.

If you are offered a PRC Certificate and a full inspection has not been carried out by a qualified PRC Structural Engineer then be very careful. It has been known for unqualified people to have carried out only a visual inspection, if so they will not have identified any areas that are not up to the required standards. This will cause problems in the future and could put you at odds with the legal requirements of your lender.

If you are in any doubt as to the authenticity of your PRC Certificate or wish to confirm that the correct procedures have been followed, then please do not hesitate to contact us.