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Author: himpantsou Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 95317  
Subject: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certificat Date: 11/05/2009 13:19
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Hi,

I had a loft conversion started last October and finished in February. I paid a loft company for full manamgement. My council, Brent, outsource their building control approval to third parties, which the loft company used.

I paid in full on credit card in stallments an itemised invoice for the loft conversion (£35,000), building inspection (£400) back in February. I spoke to the person at Building Control at the time who said all was fine, the loft had passed full council regulations, and a certificate would be in the post to the loft company who would complete their paperwork and forward it on to me.

So following that verbal confirmation, I made the final payment in line with the contracted milestones. The payment milestone does not mention building control certificate:

Final payment: (After agreed snagging completed & signature by clients of certificate of satisfaction)

But it has been three months now and still no building control certificate. I have been calling the loft company every week now and quite frankly I am pretty tired. Each time they say they haven't received the certificate from the building control company and they say they will call them up to chase them. I have also telephoned the council who say they have not received notification that my house has passed.

Any advice on what I can legally do? I just want my certificate so I can close the topic and relax. Without that certificate, it affects my house house value as I can't prove my loft conversion has been approved by building regs.
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Author: supremetwo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58626 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 11/05/2009 13:37
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I have also telephoned the council who say they have not received notification that my house has passed.

It's the Council building control that should inspect and sign off, not the builder.

Chase building control at the Council yourself. They should send you the certificate.

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Author: dwntwner Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58628 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 11/05/2009 14:01
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look on brents web site.

you will already have seen your lawful development application granted.
[note down the application number and print off the details to save in your files]

you should be able to find the building control application easily.

do the same and print off the details.

if you see the details on the web then stop worrying
as these are the records needed when selling.

and any search of brents building records will reveal the details.

if no such records appear then use the 'contacts' mechanism and eMail building services
and detail names you spoke to with regard building inspections and ask why they are not recorded.

when you sell you will just state 'buildings reg complied - see atched details from www.brent.gov.uk'

relax and enjoy your loft.

PS: i am a brent resident and they did not send me anything specific just recorded application completed on their web site.

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Author: himpantsou Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58635 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 11/05/2009 18:12
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Hi, Brent now outsource their building inspection. I already called them and they said they haven't got a final sign off certificate from the outsourced company. The outsourced company were paid by the loft company, who I paid. I also checked the Brent website and my works has not been signed off hence why I am wound up about this.

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Author: supremetwo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58643 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 11/05/2009 20:49
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Brent now outsource their building inspection

A typical public-sector not-our-fault-or-problem cop-out

Brent are responsible for ensuring that those contracted to carry out work on their behalf do it efficiently, properly and promptly.

Have a word with your local councillor.

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Author: himpantsou Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58644 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 11/05/2009 20:51
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Brent are responsible for ensuring that those contracted to carry out work on their behalf do it efficiently, properly and promptly.

Thanks but I paid the loft company for the building inspection fee. So surely they are the ones responsible, not Brent council?

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Author: supremetwo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58645 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 11/05/2009 21:00
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You said that 'The outsourced company were paid by the loft company'.

The loft company should provide you with details of that payment as proof.

Once you have that, it's the Council that should investigate the inefficiency.

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Author: strategist100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58655 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 12/05/2009 08:02
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I think there is some confusion about Building Control here. When a development is subject to Building Control, the client can choose to use either a Council Building Control Service or an Approved Inspector. The latter would be a private company and a member of the Association of Corporate Approved Inspectors.

Some Councils now don't run an in-house service at all because they weren't able to compete with the Approved Inspectors in their area - on fees or salaries (you can't run a service if you can't recruit to it). That's competition for you. Sometimes they agree with a group of their staff that they can run an arms-length fee-supported consultancy service, as per Brent. This allows them to compete more easily, but retains (albeit at arms-length) a group of staff with expertise to deal with issues like dangerous structures and emergency demolitions on behalf of the Council.

The only involvement of the Council, if it's own Service is not commissioned, is to receive notice from either the client or the builder of the Approved Inspector to be used.

So there's little point contacting the Council. If you do, they are more likely to have to take notice that you are occupying a building which may not have a completion certificate! You need to contact your builders, and if there is still no certificate, find out how much it will cost someone else to inspect and issue one, and go after that amount through Small Claims, as you've paid off the contract now.

SarahStrat

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Author: himpantsou Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58658 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 12/05/2009 08:42
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So there's little point contacting the Council. If you do, they are more likely to have to take notice that you are occupying a building which may not have a completion certificate! You need to contact your builders, and if there is still no certificate, find out how much it will cost someone else to inspect and issue one, and go after that amount through Small Claims, as you've paid off the contract now.

Thanks, that's what I thought the process was as my contract is with the loft company, who are the ones I paid for the inspection.

Would small claims be the correct route or could I retract from my credit card payment for the new cost?

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Author: strategist100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 58660 of 95317
Subject: Re: Loft Conversion & No Building Control Certif Date: 12/05/2009 09:20
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Would small claims be the correct route or could I retract from my credit card payment for the new cost?

Would your CC company allow you to do that after the passage of time?

Whatever you do, you need some written evidence and the threat of legal action as you've run out of other options. Hence small claims. I know people used to fill in but not submit the forms, simply send them to the other party, because that often resulted in the desired action without troubling the Court!

Or you could ask Trading Standards if they would take an interest.

SarahStrat

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