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  • FIRST POST
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 28th Jun 19, 7:52 AM
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    theGrinch
    Aedis Building Inspectors unreachable
    • #1
    • 28th Jun 19, 7:52 AM
    Aedis Building Inspectors unreachable 28th Jun 19 at 7:52 AM
    We were due a final inspection by Aedis this week, but now understand that as they are no longer covered by insurance, they are doing no inspections or issuing certificates.

    I have spoken with my local building control and they advised a Regularisation application but that I first get a copy of my case notes and then council could review and take over. Without the case notes it would be treated as no inspections and incur a much more serious invasion to "open up the work".

    No luck calling (always a "busy" line) or emailing Aedis despite them giving contact details in their circular to do so.

    I wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience or could suggest the best way forward.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
Page 1
    • myk33
    • By myk33 28th Jun 19, 1:49 PM
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    myk33
    • #2
    • 28th Jun 19, 1:49 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Jun 19, 1:49 PM
    Im in the same position as you! spoke with my local council and to be fair I was speaking to quite an unhelpful chap who appears not to know much really so could not give me an answer when I told him if we can get the notes of what has been signed off already along with pictures if this would suffice for the council to issue the certificate without having to open up/dig to prove what had already been singed off.


    Best case scenario would be that we pay again to the council but they accept what the AEDIS surveyors have already signed off (im in the mindset that i wont get any money back from AEDIS).


    despite having pictures and the notes, I do worry that the council do not honor the situation and want us to smash and open up what has already been signed off which will be a huge stress and cost to which we would have to pay.


    I feel that if AEDIS cannot sort their insurance issues out then people like you and me are in limbo (likely thousands of people nationally) if the council also do not honor the AEDIS notes and inspections thus far.


    surly given the unique circumstances, something needs to give to get this backlog of work signed off one way or another?! IDK im just ranting now!


    I like you am at the final stages of a loft conversion and single story rear ext. with the use of RSJs to support the whole back of the house. I am just weeks away to obtaining the certificate and now this.


    truly gutting
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 28th Jun 19, 4:34 PM
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    theGrinch
    • #3
    • 28th Jun 19, 4:34 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Jun 19, 4:34 PM
    Final inspection for loft and ground floor extension.

    I agree with your sentiments.

    I guess you have had no response from any Aedis number or your own inspector - is this correct?

    The person I spoke with at my local BC suggested that the signed off case notes would be sufficient together with drawings and cals; but again it all comes down to the view taken (by the person at the time) when they process the application.

    I was told that if they accepted the signed off stages, then I would just pay for the additional service.

    My concern is that Aedis looks very vulnerable to winding up and if that happens then it could take time to get those notes.

    As I am not moving, I can be patient (until Aedis is sorted out) but naturally it's a pain no-one needs.

    My understanding is that this insurance crisis have been driven by the Grenfell case and one case in Australia and a reaction has happened rather than distinguishing between existing property and new builds.

    Looking wider, unless its resolved, other inspectors, owners and developers will be affected and soon there will be a national problem and a glut of empty new builds.
    Last edited by theGrinch; 28-06-2019 at 4:38 PM.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • myk33
    • By myk33 28th Jun 19, 4:48 PM
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    myk33
    • #4
    • 28th Jun 19, 4:48 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Jun 19, 4:48 PM
    you are correct - no response from AEDIS other than a standard template email response when I sent an email asking for refund that states that they will get back to me in due course (whatever that means). I too feel that if the issue for them is not resolved in the coming weeks then there is a risk their company will wind up and at the same time make it difficult to obtain the notes.


    I read a lot of those news articles you spoke of yesterday - its amazing and like you said I do feel that a "!!!! show" is in the making here.


    I also am in no rush and I am sitting here with everything crossed hoping that something develops and some kind of interim solution other than having to go to local authorities happens so that we can get our building works signed off legally without much of a fuss.


    I did see on twitter that someone said that they managed to get through to their surveyor and he said they are hoping to resolve the insurance issue within 48 hours. make of that what you will...
    • Farked
    • By Farked 28th Jun 19, 6:39 PM
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    Farked
    • #5
    • 28th Jun 19, 6:39 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Jun 19, 6:39 PM
    Same situation for all of us - uncontactable. Astonishing that Aedis put something on their website on 10th June and it took until this week 26th to send an email. Makes me wonder if they did this deliberately to prevent people calling and have time to become unavailable.
    If they do go under they are a regulated firm under CICAIR so I don't think their records can be lost and will have to be made available. I hope and assume.

    myk33 - how did you get your notes please?


    It is possible they will regain their insurance but it seems we are stuck - if we do a reversion application with the local council they will want notes, but if we wait a bit it is not technically legal as the works aren't registered properly. Can't win here. Interesting though I went to the planning portal to see if their is any news - guess who their "featured" building control is? This is good in one way as it means that if LA building control gives anyone a hard time they might have to explain why their opinion is different (if anyone has to dig holes) to what was the top recommended building inspector on the planning portal. Maybe I am hoping too much.


    Regarding insurance renewal in 48 hours - my understanding is that the insurer wasn't prepared to underwrite such a large company as Aedis. How does that make sense? Surely the smaller companies are the biggest risk?
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 29th Jun 19, 7:58 AM
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    theGrinch
    • #6
    • 29th Jun 19, 7:58 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Jun 19, 7:58 AM
    @ Farked What stage are you at?

    Aedis have made a bad situation worse by being non-contactable and they are 100% responsible for that.

    The 2-week delay in emailing customers was likely a ploy to prepare to go underground. Meanwhile, the 48-hour stuff is poppcock; probably circulated by Aedis themselves.

    It is possible they will regain insurance, but there are likely to be delays even if they do.

    While technically we are in breach, I will finish (as I am at final inspection stage) and then wait for some clarity as the dust settles.

    I will not make a regularisation application at this stage.

    @ myk33 and @ Farked - will you apply or wait?

    Let's see if anyone else is affect and replies.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • myk33
    • By myk33 29th Jun 19, 11:25 AM
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    myk33
    • #7
    • 29th Jun 19, 11:25 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Jun 19, 11:25 AM
    Sorry for the confusion, I have not got my notes.

    @thegrinch - I will do the same as you.

    I have had a quote from the council for them to take on the works which is cheaper than I thought it would be however very nervy with the not knowing side of things.

    Interesting to know how long we can legally leave it or if on paper we are doing something against the law by letting the dust settle and see.

    Like you I feel its a good idea not to jump the gun and see if something does develop.
    • Farked
    • By Farked 29th Jun 19, 8:24 PM
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    Farked
    • #8
    • 29th Jun 19, 8:24 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Jun 19, 8:24 PM
    I was just finishing up the list of stuff they gave me to do final sign off. They told me in mid May call us in a month - assuming that's how long it was going to take. Completely screwed me by listening to them.


    Technically I think we need to let council know BUT if by any miracle Aedis get their insurance and we have gone to council then we can't go back. I tried to avoid the council for the simple reason my friends/architect told me that no hole was deep enough, no steel strong enough....so go private inspector.



    Council weren't too fussed when I spoke to them and just said "so long as we have their notes" you should be fine. Problem is we need to GET these notes and Aedis uncontactable - like you said gone underground. Problem is I am not convinced they are still functioning. Interestingly I can't get through to even the third party complaints people they've suggested on their website. Might be a case of contact CICAIR and find out what their obligations are. Right now cost of using council not my biggest concern - its council not having notes and telling me to dig and uncover walls.
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 30th Jun 19, 9:09 AM
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    theGrinch
    • #9
    • 30th Jun 19, 9:09 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Jun 19, 9:09 AM
    Similarly, my council understood the exceptional circumstances and that it was sensible to try and obtain my notes before applying.

    In that case its contacting CICAIR.

    Are there any social media groups for people in the same predictment?
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 30th Jun 19, 9:11 AM
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    theGrinch
    Sorry for the confusion, I have not got my notes.


    Interesting to know how long we can legally leave it or if on paper we are doing something against the law by letting the dust settle and see.
    Originally posted by myk33
    I am going to give it a month from being made aware so 25 July
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • Farked
    • By Farked 30th Jun 19, 11:42 AM
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    Farked
    If you go on Twitter there is an Aedis feed and there does appear to be someone responding to the others in our predicament saying how busy they are. Maybe its the one employee still working there? I agree it could be their phone lines are saturated and coming across to us as uncontactable...but, there is such a system as a phone queue to tell us we are 435th in the queue. And maybe they need to invest in it fast.


    If anyone gets through to CICAIR pls let us know what they say.
    • myk33
    • By myk33 1st Jul 19, 10:42 AM
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    myk33
    Yea there are many people complaining on twitter, not sure if its pointless or not but might be worth adding a note of concern to bombard their feed a little more for more exposure.


    CICAIR regulate AEDIS but do we know for sure if they have access to their data to pass over to us should they go under/fail to co-operate with their back log of customers?


    this is one of the most worrying things as without them I don't think my council will give me any leeway.


    Stupid question, but has anything like this happened before with BC companies folding or failing to renew insurance?


    Do we think the government or body will intervene to provide a solution with people who are far gone into their project if the local authorities are being too finicky and worried about approving a third parties judgement?


    I guess this is why we are holding out, but I honestly think F'k all will happen and we will be left to pick up the pieces.
    • myk33
    • By myk33 1st Jul 19, 2:28 PM
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    myk33
    FWIW I emailed CICAIR asking if they have access to the notes and what happens should AEDIS cease trading and fold overnight. this was the response:


    "I have forwarded your email onto Aedis and asked that they contact you via email. I am however aware that Aedis are receiving an extremely high call/email volume and are trying to get back to as many people as quickly, as possible.

    Unfortunately CICAIR do not hold copies of site inspection records. As written in the Building Control Performance Standards all records relating to the building control service provided to individual projects shall be stored in a retrievable format and wherever practicable electronically by every Building Control Body for a minimum period of 15 years. Arrangements shall be made for their transfer into safe keeping in the event of a Building Control Body ceasing trading."
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 1st Jul 19, 4:44 PM
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    theGrinch
    Do we think the government or body will intervene to provide a solution with people who are far gone into their project if the local authorities are being too finicky and worried about approving a third parties judgement?


    I guess this is why we are holding out, but I honestly think F'k all will happen and we will be left to pick up the pieces.
    Originally posted by myk33

    The system in place for such occurrences is referring back to BC. I cannot forsee any intervention likely in the near future as the Government battles with National and International stuff on the fan.

    Personally, I am holding out for either Aedis to get their cack to together or else for my notes to forwarded before reverting back to BC in an application.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 1st Jul 19, 4:47 PM
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    theGrinch
    FWIW I emailed CICAIR asking if they have access to the notes and what happens should AEDIS cease trading and fold overnight. this was the response:


    "I have forwarded your email onto Aedis and asked that they contact you via email. I am however aware that Aedis are receiving an extremely high call/email volume and are trying to get back to as many people as quickly, as possible.

    Unfortunately CICAIR do not hold copies of site inspection records. As written in the Building Control Performance Standards all records relating to the building control service provided to individual projects shall be stored in a retrievable format and wherever practicable electronically by every Building Control Body for a minimum period of 15 years. Arrangements shall be made for their transfer into safe keeping in the event of a Building Control Body ceasing trading."
    Originally posted by myk33
    Well done. I have done the same. It seems like a step in the right direction. Now we just hope we can get them in a timely fashion and the inspectors wrote up satisfactory notes.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • Farked
    • By Farked 1st Jul 19, 8:22 PM
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    Farked
    Thanks chaps. I took the telephone approach to CICAIR, got through to a helpful lady. She knew all about Aedis and defended them saying that they are overwhelmed with calls and emails at the moment. I said that we all understand that but the lack of communication from them is what is stirring us all up - their phone line just rings and disconnects as though they aren't there (no waiting system...you are 543rd in the line), no auto response to emails with a predicted time to respond, no updates on website since 11th June. She agreed and said she will write to MD there as she accepted that was all valid.


    I think us three have tiny minion projects in comparison to what they do elsewhere so maybe those multimillion pound flats being built everywhere are the priority they are dealing with.



    She also confirmed notes can't be lost and have to held for 15 years and if they fold then notes will have to be retained. Didn't really say what would happen.


    I am not confident they will get their indemnity. If the underwriter thinks they are too much risk then that will not change unless they change their portfolio of work. I don't know what work they do that is so high risk but I have also heard it is not the actual work they do but the volume of work. Does that mean the more work you do the more risk? How does any of this make sense? Car insurers charge more for driving more miles, but the more miles you do the more likely you are to be better with experience.....
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 2nd Jul 19, 8:06 AM
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    theGrinch
    I got a call back from my inspector.

    To bullet point the feedback

    o All records are safe. He read them back over the phone.

    o He is waiting for direction on releasing the records as authorisation (and he has requested the same) has been required up to now. He wants to know if that is still the procedure. It seems your inspector can release the records.

    o There is very little chance of any insurance to continue business and yes its down to volume as there is limited liability on private BC and the excess it taken on by insurance.

    o He recommends I apply for regualarisation

    o He said councils are aware of the problem and its size and have been in contact with him to release the records.

    o He alone has 400 cases and he estimates there are over 40,000 in the UK. My council has about 90 such cases

    o This has totally overwhelmed them. Staff are leaving and morale is very low. Some are unpaid for June. Looks very much like this company is toast.

    o As such, councils are pushing for the records rather than invasive inspections but Aedis has a huge backlog of requests.

    o This will not be the first BC in trouble, but its the biggest to date. In the next few months there will be others including government sensitive inspectors.
    Last edited by theGrinch; 02-07-2019 at 8:23 AM.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • myk33
    • By myk33 2nd Jul 19, 10:32 AM
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    myk33
    I got a call back from my inspector.

    To bullet point the feedback

    o All records are safe. He read them back over the phone.

    o He is waiting for direction on releasing the records as authorisation (and he has requested the same) has been required up to now. He wants to know if that is still the procedure. It seems your inspector can release the records.

    o There is very little chance of any insurance to continue business and yes its down to volume as there is limited liability on private BC and the excess it taken on by insurance.

    o He recommends I apply for regualarisation

    o He said councils are aware of the problem and its size and have been in contact with him to release the records.

    o He alone has 400 cases and he estimates there are over 40,000 in the UK. My council has about 90 such cases

    o This has totally overwhelmed them. Staff are leaving and morale is very low. Some are unpaid for June. Looks very much like this company is toast.

    o As such, councils are pushing for the records rather than invasive inspections but Aedis has a huge backlog of requests.

    o This will not be the first BC in trouble, but its the biggest to date. In the next few months there will be others including government sensitive inspectors.
    Originally posted by theGrinch

    Hi Mate, just to let you know I got through to my inspector and he said a lot the same as above. I managed to obtained the notes and their pictures required. however in my case there is 1 thing that was inspected but missed not noted however I and the builders do have pictures if that is even good enough! however lets leave this issue to one side for a moment.


    Can you advise what "regualarisation" is?


    As I understand our only option is to sign a document with the LA that reverses the project of inspections thus far - then after this they can take on the case "as new" taking into account all evidence we have to hand.


    is this the same thing or is it an alternative?


    given the news are you planning to still wait it out another 4 weeks or just get on with it? I might give it till Friday latest and then appoint council.


    BTW in terms of getting ANY money back I think the chances are very close to zero. My inspector also gave me the stats and also staff not being paid.
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 2nd Jul 19, 4:47 PM
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    theGrinch
    @ myk33

    What you describe is regularisation and as you have the best part of your notes you can apply and move forward.

    I am still waiting for release.

    Did your inspector need authorisation or he just released them direct to you?
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • myk33
    • By myk33 2nd Jul 19, 5:27 PM
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    myk33
    Ok this is the route I am going to go down now. I have submitted the reversion document and waiting on the council to provide me payment details so that I can pay for BC all over again - Joy!


    I had 2 surveyors, one emailed me the note document with the pictures and the other I spoke with on the phone who also provided some pictures.
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