Private building control companies
Arun District Council Building Control is aware that there are several Approved Inspectors (these are private Building Control companies) whose professional indemnity insurance has expired. This means these uninsured private companies cannot continue to lawfully provide a Building Control service. Before they ceased trading, the largest of these private companies tried to pass work-in-progress on to other Approved Inspectors. This is illegal.
What to do if your Approved Inspector no longer has the insurance cover required to trade
If your building project is being administered by an Approved Inspector who can no longer provide the Building Control service for you, then you will need to follow this procedure:
- Either the Approved Inspector or the person carrying out the works (the builder) must cancel the existing Initial Notice which was originally lodged with Arun District Council Building Control. This can be done by completing the following Section 52 Cancellation Notice and returning it to Arun District Council Building Control:
- Once you have completed your Cancellation Notice and only If the work has not started, then you may choose either Arun District Council Building Control or a different Approved Inspector to administer your building project.
- However, If work has started on site, any work not covered by a lawfully issued Final Certificate must - by law - be passed back to Arun District Council to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations. When passing uncompleted work back to Arun District Council and after issuing your Section 52 Cancellation Notice, you will need to lodge a Reversion application to the Arun Building Control. When doing so, please use the following form:
- When work is ‘reverted’ to Arun Building Control, you will need to provide us with as much information as possible to help us determine how the work (so far) complies with the relevant Building Regulations. This would include any plans, documents, structural designs, site inspection records etc your Approved inspector might have made available to you.
- Please note that all local authorities are obliged by law to carry out this process and at the same time levy a fee for work that is reverted to them. Arun’s initial Charge to deal with a Reversion Application will be £395.00. Please note that this is the cost anticipated for a processing relatively straightforward reversion project. If we spend longer than anticipated in dealing with the work (typically this will depend upon the complexity of the project and the corresponding extra work that this Authority may have to undertake) we will charge for any such additional time incurred at a rate of £49.50 an hour. Please note that these figures are NOT subject to VAT. Equally, should the time we spend processing your Reversion Application be less than the value of the initial £395 then we can arrange for a refund that reflects any underspend. So, as set out above, any information you have about inspections undertaken so far, plus any building plans, structural calculations or photographs of the work in progress etc, will be of great assistance and may help to limit our fees.
- Once we have the information as described above, then a highly experienced and qualified Building Control Surveyor will assess all of these details etc and advise you of the next steps in the process.
- If we cannot ascertain compliance with any particular aspects of the building work, we may have to ask for certain elements to be uncovered for inspection. Naturally we aim to keep any such possibility to a minimum.
We understand that there are a lot of people (including thousands of homeowners across the country) who may now be out of pocket and facing the prospect of having to open up works previously inspected by a private inspector.
Unfortunately, this is a situation out of our control. In this regard, we expect further cases of Approved Inspectors being denied renewed insurance. Dealing with reversions from Approved Inspectors is a statutory duty of local authorities – the Approved Inspector’s ability to trade and the issue of any previously paid fees is also outside our remit or control.
Complaints related to the behaviour of any Approved Inspector should be directed to their designated body CICAIR Ltd (appointed for this purpose by the Secretary of State) in the first instance and to the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) thereafter.
Arun is also disappointed there has been no comment made in public by CICAIR, ACAI or MHCLG about any of these issues despite our own national organisation; the LABC providing detailed examples of what is happening.
Arun’s Building Control service is here to assist you through the process so that you can attain a Building Regulation Completion Notification and have building works that comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.