The construction is finally completed and now is the moment when you can get the keys to a new life in a new home. We really hope that you have chosen the right and reliable developer and that the picture in the project does not differ at all from the final work. However, you should not rush to immediately sign documents on accepting an apartment from the developer out of sheer joy, first you need to carefully check everything so that over time you will not be confronted with unpleasant surprises. In this article, we will describe how to do it quickly and correctly.
Technical acceptance of an apartment from the developer – what is it?
To begin with, let’s define what technical acceptance of an apartment from a developer is in general and what it is. This procedure begins with an invitation to the initial inspection of the facility, then the inspection itself takes place and, provided there are no complaints about the quality of the work performed, the acceptance certificate is signed. This document usually states:
– data of the parties signing of the certificate;
– zip code of the apartment in which the renovation work was carried out;
– date and number of the equity participation agreement (also called the EPA);
– date and place of signing of the acceptance certificate.
In the same document, you indicate that you have no complaints about the quality of the renovation work performed. If there were defects, then by the time of signing they must be corrected.
Sometimes unscrupulous developers may offer you to specify a different date in the contract. In this case, we strongly recommend that you refuse to sign if there are any inaccuracies that are not true. You also have the right not to sign the acceptance certificate if you are dissatisfied with the quality of the services provided. First, the developer company must carry out all work to eliminate these defects, and then, upon re-acceptance, you will be able to put your signature. First signing, and then waiting for the correction of defects is very risky, so you will have every chance that defects will remain and you will have to fix them by yourself in the future.
To make it easier for you to navigate when re-checking, and for the builders to clearly understand what exactly needs to be fixed, fill out the inspection sheet and indicate in detail all the identified shortcomings. This will help both document your claims and take a more constructive look at them. We will talk about what the inspection sheet is and how to work with it correctly a little later.
Getting an apartment from the developer – how to prepare for this?
The first step before accepting an apartment from the developer is to once again study the project declaration and the agreement for share participation in construction. These papers will indicate the specific area of the apartment, the type of finish, materials, the location of doors and windows, the front door finish, the laminate class, the presence of a screed, etc., that is, all the main parameters of this space. Before getting an apartment from the developer, make a small checklist with what you plan to inspect at the facility. This advice is very important because worrying during the inspection, you run the risk of forgetting about some of the important little things that you had previously planned to check.
What to take with you to the inspection of the apartment?
In order not to get into trouble and not to wait for re-acceptance, collect the necessary documents in one folder. At the acceptance of an apartment from the developer, you will need:
– passport (your and all equity holders’ passports who must be present at the acceptance. If they are not with you on the day of signing the certificate, you need a power of attorney);
– original EPA (equity participation agreement);
– a copy of the plan of the apartment (usually it is in the annex to the EPA agreement);
– payment documents confirming the fact of full payment for housing (or documents on a loan/mortgage).
If we talk not only about the documentary component, then in our experience the following things will come in handy for checking the quality of the construction itself:
– stickers that can be glued to mark the defects found (a marker is also suitable for this if the condition of the apartment allows such marks to be made on surfaces). In addition, we advise you to take photographs on your phone;
– a tape measure to check the compliance of the actual area with the declared one (often developers take with them more modern samples of laser tape measures or rangefinders, but it is better to play it safe and take the good old version with you);
– if there is no lighting in the apartment yet, it is better to take a flashlight with you;
– electric indicator screwdriver will help to make sure that all sockets are in working order;
– a lighter or a piece of paper for a ventilation test.
Acceptance of an apartment from the developer – who is involved in this?
An important point is the presence of all mandatory participants in the acceptance of an apartment from the developer. You and other equity holders, if any, (you can be the only person present, but you must have passports and powers of attorney of other equity holders with you) participate as the accepting party. A representative of the developer company must be present as the delivering party. If prior to the signing of this certificate, a homeowner association has already been organized in the building, its representative must also participate.
Acceptance of the apartment, what to look for?
The plan for accepting an apartment from the developer will depend on the condition in which it is delivered: with or without finishing. In the first case, it is very difficult to understand what is behind the layers of plaster and how well all internal utility lines are arranged. Then you can only hope for the decency of the developer and trust their promises, which must coincide with the EPA. Still, if your option is to accept an apartment already finished, then pay attention to:
– whether all the works stipulated by the EPA agreement were completed in full;
– whether the materials used correspond to the declared ones;
– whether all the specified equipment is installed;
– how smooth the finish is;
– whether there are any cracks in the plaster;
– whether there are obvious voids under the tiles (the easiest way to check this is to knock and listen for the sound).
If you accept an apartment without finishing, then pay more attention to technical issues:
– measure the height of the ceilings and the total area of the premises;
– check the condition of the floor slabs, carefully look at their colour, one can often notice dark spots or even mould caused by constant leaks. By noticing it now, you can save yourself a tidy sum in the future;
– evaluate the evenness of surfaces (walls, ceilings, floors);
– check the quality of installation and efficiency of window and door fittings;
– pay attention to the presence and functioning of electrics, drainage, heating (if possible), ventilation, water supply.
7 steps to a successful technical acceptance of your apartment
A short step-by-step instruction on the technical acceptance of an apartment from the developer looks like this:
- Check out the most common construction mistakes:
– erection of walls (wrong choice of type and thickness of insulation, ill-conceived insulation scheme, etc.);
– saving on roofing materials;
– ventilation (errors in air exchange calculations).
- Discuss renovation issues with people who have recently been in your place and made some notes for themselves. Or, ideally, talk to a construction specialist.
- Accept the apartment from the developer only during daylight hours, when all the shortcomings are clearly visible.
- Have enough time to accept the apartment. In a hurry, you will definitely not notice many shortcomings, but rather you will even simply forget to check them, considering them not so important.
- Know your rights and then the developer company will not be able to convince you that some work is not included in their duties. Builders are obliged to eliminate any, even the smallest flaws if these details do not match the construction plan.
- Request the renovation from the developer. When one team does everything, the processes become more coordinated, which means better and faster. Our company Euromed-Bud also handles absolutely all construction processes, which allows the team to work much faster and more efficiently.
- Be patient and start making the final minor renovation two weeks later so you won’t skip defects that can bring you significant losses.
Acceptance of the apartment from the developer – protocol of technical acceptance
Before entering a new home, it is necessary to obtain an inspection sheet from the developer (it is also called an inventory of defects and a protocol of technical acceptance of a facility). It will be possible to record all the comments and defects that should be corrected. Such a document can be issued separately or together with an acceptance certificate: both options take place. However, if both documents are issued to you together, remember that until the defects are corrected, the acceptance certificate cannot be signed!
What is usually indicated in the standard protocol of the technical acceptance of an apartment from the developer:
– the address where the facility is located;
– current date (remember that you should never agree to backdate documents, regardless of any persuasion and arguments of the representative of the developer);
– your personal data;
– number and date of signing the equity participation agreement (EPA);
– building number and floor on which the apartment is located;
– the term for correcting the indicated defects;
– date and signatures of both parties;
– the comments (usually indicated on the reverse side of the contract).
How to insure an apartment after technical acceptance?
As long as you are only a shareholder, that is, the apartment has not yet been completed and the acceptance certificate has not yet been signed, you cannot protect yourself and your property from fires, floods and natural disasters. This situation arises because, technically, your apartment still does not exist and you are only an investor in the project and not the owner of finished housing, and it turns out that there is nothing to insure yet. After the technical acceptance of the apartment and the signing of the acceptance certificate, you will finally become the owner of the property, which you can already “feel”, which means you can insure it.
If you still pay off the credit or the mortgage, then it is impossible to refuse the insurance procedure. Most often, this is done by a developer (a person who creates real estate objects, controls all stages of its creation and organizes all relevant processes) or a developer makes contributions to the fund. As the owner and part-time borrower, you are obliged to take care of life and health insurance.
Many legal issues begin to arise just at the time when it would seem, the apartment is finally completed, and you can move in and live. Therefore, we often provide legal support services and advise our clients on how they should proceed. This is another advantage of the fact that Euromed-Bud has one well-coordinated team that does not just fulfill the technical part of its obligations, but also helps to understand complex legal issues.
Technical acceptance of the apartment – independently or under the supervision of a professional?
In our experience, many buyers of apartments in new buildings are not aware of the existence of a professional technical acceptance service, and often this is fraught with large additional costs. Of course, not everyone needs such help, but in what cases do we definitely advise you to turn to professionals?
- You do not have a civil engineering education and/or are not sure of the relevance and sufficient volume of your knowledge.
- You have no experience in accepting apartments and have a poor idea of how this procedure goes, what needs to be done, where to look and what questions to ask.
- You do not have extra 2-3 hours that you will have to spend on the technical acceptance of the apartment.
If at least one option is yours, be sure to contact the professionals. This service will cost several times cheaper than the elimination of defects after signing the documents. Often the amounts for redoing are completely incomparable with the payment for the services of a specialist. With particularly enviable regularity, our employees find hidden flaws in apartments, which are almost impossible to find for a person who does not know what exactly to look for.
How much does the technical acceptance of an apartment with a specialist cost?
How much does such a service of technical acceptance of an apartment with a specialist in Warsaw cost? You will be surprised, but in our Euromed-Bud company, when choosing the “Standard +” or “Premium” packages, we will carry out this procedure for free. For all other packages, the cost will be PLN 500. This is absolutely not the amount that is worth saving in this situation, because replacing a window unit, buying a new front door or tearing off a freshly laid floor to refill the screed will cost tens or even hundreds of times more. And this is only about minor work, let alone major large-scale elimination of defects.
Construction is not only a very long, but also a complex, labour-intensive, and responsible process. Often things that are not worth saving on seem like such trifles that later you can face much more significant expenses. To prevent such troubles from happening in the future, we advise you to immediately contact professionals who will help identify any risks and shortcomings on the part of developers. Our specialists at Euromed-Bud will be sure to advise you on any questions you may have.