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  • FIRST POST
    • loft2017
    • By loft2017 5th Jan 18, 1:32 PM
    • 6Posts
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    loft2017
    Builder ignoring my emails requesting completion certificate for loft conversion
    • #1
    • 5th Jan 18, 1:32 PM
    Builder ignoring my emails requesting completion certificate for loft conversion 5th Jan 18 at 1:32 PM
    Hello
    This is my first post on here, please bear with me. I had a fairly expensive loft conversion carried out last year by Central London Lofts. I went with the higher quote believing that I would get a better service. The owner explained that all their work was fully certified and guaranteed for ten years.

    They appeared reputable based on their website and reassurances provided by the owner. However, the process was fraught with difficulties from start to finish and took almost six months to get to an acceptable stage, at which point, I wished to cut my losses and forget about them. The project manager was aggressive and ineffective and made everything worse rather than better.

    I paid the full and final installment in mid December. I was reassured via email that the completion documents and guarantee would be sent to me immediately. As soon as I made the payment, they stopped communicating altogether.

    What are my options for getting my certificates in these circumstances?
Page 1
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 5th Jan 18, 1:38 PM
    • 32,222 Posts
    • 37,922 Thanks
    Browntoa
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 1:38 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 1:38 PM
    Contact the inspecting council planning department direct
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 5th Jan 18, 1:47 PM
    • 3,738 Posts
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    Furts
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 1:47 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 1:47 PM
    Hopefully you made an Application for Buildings Regulations. You will then have Inspections. Bear in mind you had the legal duties, and onus, on making the Application and for calling in the Inspections. Consequently contact the Inspector, and request a Final Inspection, followed by a Completion Certificate. If the Inspection has been carried out, and was satisfactory, then request the Certificate.

    There are two potential snags. First, the Inspector may find problems, and these will cost money to put right. Second, any guarantee is only a piece of paper - what were you expecting to be guaranteed for 10 years and what mechanism was in place for making this guarantee effective?

    If you are saying you have paid in full, and are unaware of anything on Buildings Regulations then alarm bells ring loudly.

    Best of luck.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 5th Jan 18, 1:49 PM
    • 3,738 Posts
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    Furts
    • #4
    • 5th Jan 18, 1:49 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Jan 18, 1:49 PM
    Contact the inspecting council planning department direct
    Originally posted by Browntoa
    The issue will be did they do the inspections, or was an Approved inspector used. If it is the latter then hopefully OP has been meeting them, and by default, knows who they are.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 5th Jan 18, 2:14 PM
    • 24,216 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 5th Jan 18, 2:14 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Jan 18, 2:14 PM
    The issue will be did they do the inspections, or was an Approved inspector used. If it is the latter then hopefully OP has been meeting them, and by default, knows who they are.
    Originally posted by Furts
    Iím sure Approved Inspectors usually write to the homeowner even if the builder is named as client for BC purposes.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • loft2017
    • By loft2017 5th Jan 18, 2:31 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    loft2017
    • #6
    • 5th Jan 18, 2:31 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Jan 18, 2:31 PM
    Hello. Thanks for the replies. All the approvals were obtained as they should have been, I am told. An approved inspection company called Jhai was used and when I previously requested inspection reports, they said that it was all visually approved and the certificate at the end is all that I would need. There was no report available as such. The inspection visits only ever lasted a few minutes, even the final one. I tried to contact them directly but they said that I was not their client, the loft company were so I would only be able to obtain what I needed from their client rather than from them directly.

    I know what the deal is with guarantees but since it was touted as one of their big selling points, I still wanted that piece of paper. They were so hostile that I am not sure that I would ever exercise it.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 5th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    • 3,738 Posts
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    Furts
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    You need to establish from jhai if they have undertaken a Completion Certificate and have details gone to your Local Authority. I cannot see any reasons why they should not be upfront and helpful on this - except one. Whilst the loft company are their client there is a chance jhai have not been paid for their contribution and their role may be incomplete pending this payment.

    Learn a bitter, hard, lesson in life from this. Regrettably it is crazy to go about building work in this manner, and even more crazy to pay in full without knowing where you stand on matters.

    Best of luck and keep everyone posted.
    • loft2017
    • By loft2017 5th Jan 18, 7:11 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    loft2017
    • #8
    • 5th Jan 18, 7:11 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Jan 18, 7:11 PM
    Thanks, I will try them again. I wasn't sure if the approved inspector would have all of the required paperwork or whether the loft company would need to contribute to the process along the line. Obviously, I knew there was a risk of this happening but they assured me in writing that it would follow and threatened to involve debt collectors if I never paid up the same day and I was worried about my credit rating.
    Throughout the process, they were trying to extract large advance payments upon the basis that they were roughly "at that stage "...for example, nearly 10k for the staircase stage when said staircase which was lying on my lawn in the back garden even one month later. I have never had major work carried out before so I wasn't sure what was normal except that other people in my neighbourhood were having similar projects done at lower cost and completed quickly without any aggro. Their website seemed so professional and impressive. Even though I saw the odd ccj against them, I wanted to believe that they cared enough about their reputation to avoid behaving like this after they had the full funds.
    I guess I am wanting to know if there is a way in which they can be made to provide the paperwork, even legally obliged to do it.
    • loft2017
    • By loft2017 5th Jan 18, 7:16 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    loft2017
    • #9
    • 5th Jan 18, 7:16 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Jan 18, 7:16 PM
    I meant to say that I definitely paid the fee for building control which they would have passed on to Jhai. It was well in excess of the council's fee. It is ironic that they claimed to use approved inspectors to save time for the clients when their long holidays and job rotations throughout the process meant that it took half a year to 'complete' rather than the one month they claimed it would.
    • jhiker
    • By jhiker 5th Jan 18, 9:06 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    jhiker
    Are they a member of any professional bodies? Maybe you get them involved to move things along. Did you have both structural and electrical work done?
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Jan 18, 7:46 AM
    • 3,738 Posts
    • 2,361 Thanks
    Furts
    I meant to say that I definitely paid the fee for building control which they would have passed on to Jhai. It was well in excess of the council's fee. It is ironic that they claimed to use approved inspectors to save time for the clients when their long holidays and job rotations throughout the process meant that it took half a year to 'complete' rather than the one month they claimed it would.
    Originally posted by loft2017
    Fees are a competitive market and the usual commercial considerations apply. What I suspect happened is this...You should definitely, definitely, definitely have used the Local Authority and followed your legal duty and applied for Buildings Regulations. Instead the loft company put a huge mark up on jhai fees, then got you to pay this . The result is you lost control of the situation, you boosted the loft companies profits and you passed the client - customer relationship to the loft company when it should have been with you.

    You should be able to get the Completion Certificate/details from your Local authority.
    • loft2017
    • By loft2017 6th Jan 18, 11:08 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    loft2017
    On their website, they state that Which carries out their arbitration and they were members during some of the time they worked on my house. However, this year, they weren't allowed to remain members (presumably because their review score fell short of the required). Which feel they can still help as it is in the interest of other consumers to know about it but they want me to try and explore other avenues first of all. Other than that, FMB and one other ..I am pretty sure the FMB is a bought membership rather than an indicator of a reputable company?
    • loft2017
    • By loft2017 6th Jan 18, 11:09 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    loft2017
    Wrt works done by them, yes, they did everything
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Jan 18, 11:46 AM
    • 3,738 Posts
    • 2,361 Thanks
    Furts


    Other than that, FMB and one other ..I am pretty sure the FMB is a bought membership rather than an indicator of a reputable company?
    Originally posted by loft2017


    FMB might be able to help, but it depends if the company are a member. There is a post running today which slates the FMB scheme, and do not expect great things even if they become involved. FMB is a paid membership organisation working to assist its' paying members and not the consumer.


    Engaging any contractor, and engaging in any building works, is fraught with risks. Being realistic, being pragmatic, and being in the real world, means there is little the consumer can do if things turn nasty, or problematic. There is a totally positive converse to this - the consumer should do their homework before engaging the contractors. Yet countless consumers fall at the first hurdle here, and countless others never even get off the starting line.


    it may seem harsh, and it will incur a cost, but ... you would be wise to consider getting all the work done checked out by a professional. You know the loft company were a hopeless outfit, so what work has been bodged?
    Last edited by Furts; 06-01-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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