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Complaints about Building Control Bodies
This section explains what you should do if you want to complain about a Building Control Body
The Government's Building Regulations are largely directed towards health, safety and climate change issues, and so it is very important that they are properly enforced. To enable this to happen, designs and projects under construction should be properly checked by people who are independent and competent to do so.
Competition within the Building Control profession has led to many changes in how services are delivered. However, competition must not lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of Building Control in helping to achieve compliance with the important requirements of the Building Regulations.
Every Building Control Body, regardless of whether they are public or private sector providers, must observe normal professional standards and business ethics. In particular, a Building Control Body must not attempt to supplant another Building Control body, or win work, on the basis of interpretation of the regulations and the principle that the Building Control function is independent must not be compromised.
It is a requirement of all Building Control bodies that they maintain and make available on request an appropriate complaints procedure.
As a local authority, Neath Port Talbot has a formal complaints procedure in place.
Private sector providers are also required to have a formal complaints procedure in place. Obviously, the first step should always be to contact the provider in question. However, if a complaint against a private sector Building Control provider needs to be escalated to their regulator, the complaint needs to be referred to the Construction Industry Council.
Compensation for Construction Defects
It is not the purpose of the Building Regulations to provide a warranty that any works covered by the Building Regulations are satisfactory or to provide compensation for financial loss if, in time, it becomes evident that the building work is not satisfactory.
This type of compensation is accessed through schemes such as the LABC New Home Warranty, the 'Latent Gold' latent defects insurance product and other products including NHBC 10-year guarantees, assurances provided through the issue of architect's or surveyor's certificates as well as the many trade guarantee schemes that exist.
It is not Building Control's role to:
- act as a ‘Clerk of Works’ monitoring every stage of the construction process on site. That is a matter for the contracts and arrangements put in place between the client and builder. Ultimately, compliance is clearly the responsibility of the person carrying out the work
- address issues such as the finish and aesthetics of the final project where these are not Building Regulations standards – these are a matter for designers, builders, and new home warranty providers
- offer protection to a client in a contract with a builder. This is a matter of contract law.