Your Building Control Team

05/07/2019Approved Inspector insurance - what you need to know

LABC is aware of four private Approved Inspectors (AIs) whose professional indemnity insurance has expired meaning they cannot continue to lawfully operate. The largest of these is Aedis who have many thousands of customers. In some cases the Approved Inspector (and particularly Aedis) have tried to pass work in progress on to another private building inspector. This is illegal.

What to do if your Approved Inspector no longer has the insurance cover required to trade

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Either the AI or the person carrying out the works (the builder) must cancel the existing Initial Notice lodged with a local authority.
  2. If work has started on site, any work not covered by a lawfully issued Final Certificate must - by law - be passed back to your local council to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations.  Only if work has not started then another AI can submit an Initial Notice for the work.
  3. You will have to complete a Reversion Application as agreed with your local council and fill in a copy of Form 7 under the Approved Inspector regulations which cancels the Initial Notice submitted by the AI. These should be available on your local council's website.
  4. When work is ‘reverted’ to a local LABC team in this way, you will need to provide them with as much information as possible to help them determine the work so far complies with the relevant regulations. All local authorities are obliged by law to levy a fee for work that is reverted to them but this fee will be individually assessed based on the size of the project and the amount of time needed to determine compliance with the Building Regulations. So any information you have about inspections undertaken so far, plus any building plans, structural calculations or photographs of the work in progress will be of great assistance and may help to limit LABC fees.
  5. The LABC team will then assess all of this and advise you of the next steps in the process and any applicable fees.
  6. If your LABC team cannot ascertain compliance with particular parts of the work they may have to ask for certain works to be uncovered for inspection. It is always LABC's aim to keep this to a minimum.

LABC understands there are a lot of people (including thousands of homeowners) now out of pocket and facing the prospect of having to open up works previously inspected by a private inspector. 

Unfortunately it is a situation out of our control and 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 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.

LABC is also disappointed there has been no comment made in public by CICAIR, ACAI or MHCLG about any of these issues despite LABC providing detailed examples of what was happening.

Public service building contol teams are there to assist you through the process so that you can attain a Building Regulation Completion Certificate and have building works that comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

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