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  • FIRST POST
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 28th Jun 19, 7:52 AM
    • 2,995Posts
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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 3
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 4th Jul 19, 9:27 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    I read that it is Total Building Control who are the company to take this on..
    Originally posted by myk33
    I think Aedis started to work through TBC but TBC are not proceeding
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 4th Jul 19, 9:38 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    . 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.
    Originally posted by Farked
    That's really interesting. It can be read two ways; the local authority over zealous or the private sector being a bit slack and will sign off anything...?? Perhaps the 'architect' didn't like being told they've got something wrong...again...?
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 4th Jul 19, 9:42 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    Oh and my council called it "reversion" not "regularisation". I don't know if they are different things but reversion just means we are reverting to the LABC and nothing more. I note some councils actually have a reversion application form, my council is just the standard one.
    Are you both going ahead with filling out the council form then?
    Originally posted by Farked
    Yes, Reversion is the correct term within the legislation. Regularisation is something different
    • Farked
    • By Farked 4th Jul 19, 10:15 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Farked
    Right now I would just like my notes and will have to accept paying the LABC. However, much as it may not be the LABCs responsibility for this debacle, it is the government's. They want housing built but LAs don't have the resources to cover this and why the private building control sector exists. I like many others found Aedis by going to the planning portal website (a government website) where Aedis still shows as the "featured inspector". This is in part due to the government needing to authorise the insurers providing indemnity and they did nothing to ensure another player was on the market when there was only the one insurer left who wouldn't underwrite Aedis. Government owes all of us compensation for this.
    • JT19
    • By JT19 4th Jul 19, 10:53 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    JT19
    Ultimately this all falls back on the applicant, itíd be interesting to know whoís suggestion it was to go with private building inspectors over LABC in certain cases? Probably the architect or builder for a Ďlighter touchí maybe (probably). Now its the applicant who is left to pick up the pieces. This chain of events is very unfortunate however very interesting in terms of privatising a regulatory role ever to begin with
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 5th Jul 19, 7:20 AM
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    daveyjp
    LABC have been aware of private company shortcomings for years.

    In a light touch regulated world it usually ends up with problems.

    I am aware of a recently completed apartment block, signed off by developer's preferred BC inspection company which has already been condemned and no one has moved in yet.

    Suspicion is they have all been sold to investors, developer has made their money, very likely to go into liquidation, Local Authority left with the headache of a condemned building empty and not providing much needed apartments.
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 5th Jul 19, 7:33 AM
    • 2,995 Posts
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    theGrinch
    It is called a reversion - regularisation is something different. It is a process to cover your project in the event of your AI no longer being able to continue As I understand it you can cancel your Initial Notice submitted through Aedis either, submit another IN using a different AI - if you can find one willing to take on the risk of another AI's work or, revert back to the local authority - Reversion. Fortunately local authorities are reliably there to pick up the pieces for you but, you need to work with them to achieve this. The private sector system has caused this problem not local authorities. You will need to give the local authority service time to deal with this; it was not of their making and they need to gear up for the situation.
    If you complete building works without any appropriate legal inspection then don't moan when you have to open up works etc to gain sign off or avoid prosecution. Being bullish is all very well but could cause more hassle... just a thought...
    Originally posted by Whatamuddle

    My local authority referred to it as regularisation and they said that only they can deal with such circumstances. There is no new AI.

    I have heard other LAs call it reversion. That might be adding to the confusion.

    I didnt understand the last bit of what you wrote about moaning and opening up works. I am at final inspection as per the thread and had everything signed off until now. I am working to get my notes as per request of LA.
    Last edited by theGrinch; 05-07-2019 at 7:38 AM.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • MTheInspector
    • By MTheInspector 5th Jul 19, 7:34 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    MTheInspector
    I work at a senior level for an AI, while I donít know the precise reasons for Aedis demise I do know that insurers are getting very concerned about the risk profile and the type of contracts being imposed by large contractors.

    The REAL issue stems from Grenfell, how many similar cladding claims are sitting out there?
    It is worth noting that Grenfell was approved by the Local Authority, not an AI.

    The reason people use AIs is Competence and efficiency. AIs have massive hoops to jump through to prove they are competent and can lose their licence if they breach the code of conduct, labc have no such requirements and donít even have or need insurance. If I sign off non compliant work my employer will sack me, no messing.

    If your builder or Architect is using an AI because they get an easy ride then dump them ASAP , you may not realise this but it is up to YOU to comply with Building Regs, not your inspector so your builder or Architect is leaving this at your door.

    I have sympathy for Aedis and their great staff, this wasnít actually their doing, it is a combination of events and labc are not blameless in this.

    The best advice is, if you are using another AI, just get on with your build and do everything in you power to make sure you get an inspection report and do whatever is needed to get a final certificate, soooooo many people leave a few final items unfinished at the end of a project and donít get a final certificate, They too will need a reversion and that. Is their own fault.
    • MTheInspector
    • By MTheInspector 5th Jul 19, 7:41 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    MTheInspector
    LABC have been aware of private company shortcomings for years.

    In a light touch regulated world it usually ends up with problems.

    I am aware of a recently completed apartment block, signed off by developer's preferred BC inspection company which has already been condemned and no one has moved in yet.

    Suspicion is they have all been sold to investors, developer has made their money, very likely to go into liquidation, Local Authority left with the headache of a condemned building empty and not providing much needed apartments.
    You need proof of that before castigating an entire industry, of course LABC will say they are aware of AIs shortcomings,
    LABC signed off Grenfell and Lakanal but they probably didnít mention that. We revert projects Which donít comply and would lose our licence and livelihoods if we didnít.

    LABC say they disagree with private sector BUT LABC is actually a multi million pound private company funded behind the scenes by an insurance company, LABC is a well oiled PR machine, do not be manipulated without getting actual facts.
    Last edited by MTheInspector; 05-07-2019 at 7:44 AM.
    • JT19
    • By JT19 5th Jul 19, 8:25 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    JT19
    No doubt AEDIS will start up again under a different name as an Approved Inspector with the big wigs un affected.

    Privatising the industry has watered down standards. ‘Inspectors’ are too focused on not upsetting the apple cart, jeopardising future work and personal bonuses/ company cars by being borderline negligent in some cases.

    Like I said builders and architects are going private for a lighter touch, in lots of cases the applicant isn’t even aware. Give me a conscientious inspector from LABC over a ‘just take a piccy we’re a bit busy today’ salesman
    Last edited by JT19; 05-07-2019 at 8:34 AM.
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 5th Jul 19, 8:43 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    Right now I would just like my notes and will have to accept paying the LABC. However, much as it may not be the LABCs responsibility for this debacle, it is the government's. They want housing built but LAs don't have the resources to cover this and why the private building control sector exists. I like many others found Aedis by going to the planning portal website (a government website) where Aedis still shows as the "featured inspector". This is in part due to the government needing to authorise the insurers providing indemnity and they did nothing to ensure another player was on the market when there was only the one insurer left who wouldn't underwrite Aedis. Government owes all of us compensation for this.
    Originally posted by Farked
    Not strictly true. LA's had plenty of resources until the conservative government decided they wanted to introduce competition into building control - I think you'll find it stemmed from a disgruntled MP not getting what they wanted at the time. It was uintroduced in 1985 with the Building Act 1984. Along with that came the requirement for the local authority to continue to provide the statutory function i.e. It HAS to provide the service, but also it must do so on a self financing basis and, it cannot refuse a submission of a project so, it becomes the default solution. The financial requirements together with reduced central government funding has meant cutting staff to the bone. Then with AI's coming in (most were ex LA staff) they just recruited LA staff thus simply spreading the existing resource more thinly. Before this LA's had sufficient resource, expertise an capability to provide a full service.

    So the local authority service with its self financing status MUST provide the service whether ot not it is successful in competing for work in the usual way IT DOES NOT RECEIVE ANY FUNDING FROM THE GOVERNMENT NOR LOCAL TAX PAYER FOR THIS! This means it MUST win work to gain income to be able to sustain a resource to deal with all this nonsense in the private sector! The system was flawed from day one but no respective government has deemed it necessary to tackle it. Then along comes Grenfell, a disaster perhaos waiting to happen and , the system goes into meltdown - only the local authority service is keeping its head to try and help find a solution.

    Good innit?
    Last edited by Whatamuddle; 05-07-2019 at 8:47 AM.
    • MTheInspector
    • By MTheInspector 5th Jul 19, 8:54 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    MTheInspector
    Not strictly true. LA's had plenty of resources until the conservative government decided they wanted to introduce competition into building control - I think you'll find it stemmed from a disgruntled MP not getting what they wanted at the time. It was uintroduced in 1985 with the Building Act 1984. Along with that came the requirement for the local authority to continue to provide the statutory function i.e. It HAS to provide the service, but also it must do so on a self financing basis and, it cannot refuse a submission of a project so, it becomes the default solution. The financial requirements together with reduced central government funding has meant cutting staff to the bone. Then with AI's coming in (most were ex LA staff) they just recruited LA staff thus simply spreading the existing resource more thinly. Before this LA's had sufficient resource, expertise an capability to provide a full service.

    So the local authority service with its self financing status MUST provide the service whether ot not it is successful in competing for work in the usual way IT DOES NOT RECEIVE ANY FUNDING FROM THE GOVERNMENT NOR LOCAL TAX PAYER FOR THIS! This means it MUST win work to gain income to be able to sustain a resource to deal with all this nonsense in the private sector! The system was flawed from day one but no respective government has deemed it necessary to tackle it. Then along comes Grenfell, a disaster perhaos waiting to happen and , the system goes into meltdown - only the local authority service is keeping its head to try and help find a solution.
    But Be clear LABC approved Grenfell, they were required to set a proper fee under the building regs fees regs, they are required to set the correct fee FOR THE JOB, they are not required to set a competitive fee, they have missed the point. In the 20 years of competition LABC have done nothing to improve competence, they only look at the fee.
    • guitar77
    • By guitar77 5th Jul 19, 10:30 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    guitar77
    Whatamuddle -

    ĎDo you expect them to bail you out for free?í

    No. Where did I mention that? I didnít. Perhaps read my post properly. Iím
    Making the point that having notes from Aedis could affect what happens next - level of inspection and cost. Thats repeated by other building control companies Iíve spoke to.

    I have not given my LA any grief. Iím fully aware itís not their fault. I said they were not useful. Thatís hardly slagging them off. The person I spoke to was completely at a loss and wasnít sure what will happen. It was a friendly conversation.

    Iím not expecting anything for free nor giving the LA any stick.
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 5th Jul 19, 12:20 PM
    • 8,431 Posts
    • 7,056 Thanks
    daveyjp
    Signing off a development which meets the regs at that time, but subsequent events demonstrate the regs were lacking (which may well be the Grenfell situation) is one thing.

    A recently completed building, signed off by a private inspector falling so far short in meeting existing regs and being condemned before the paint is dry is another.
    • MTheInspector
    • By MTheInspector 5th Jul 19, 3:39 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    MTheInspector
    Signing off a development which meets the regs at that time, but subsequent events demonstrate the regs were lacking (which may well be the Grenfell situation) is one thing.

    A recently completed building, signed off by a private inspector falling so far short in meeting existing regs and being condemned before the paint is dry is another.
    I only deal in facts. I do know, as a fact, that the insulation at Grenfell was non compliant, I did read dr Barbara lanes report saying that there was no fire stopping around the windows., just facts, nothing else.

    The other matter you refer to is here say. If anyone has evidence against an AI they simply report it to CICAIR and if it’s true the AI will be sanctioned, again, facts.

    Where I do see a problem is that the whole regulatory process lacks teeth, this is because Local Authorities won’t enforce the regulations (and do not harp on about money, it’s old and tired)

    Local authority building control are required to set the correct fee for each project, instead they try to beat AIs, school boy business, the very best AIs charge way more than the councils and get plenty of work from all types of customer who want a proper job.
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 5th Jul 19, 7:26 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    My local authority referred to it as regularisation and they said that only they can deal with such circumstances. There is no new AI.

    I have heard other LAs call it reversion. That might be adding to the confusion.

    I didnt understand the last bit of what you wrote about moaning and opening up works. I am at final inspection as per the thread and had everything signed off until now. I am working to get my notes as per request of LA.
    Originally posted by theGrinch
    It is definitely Reversion. Regularisation deals with unauthorised building works (that is not the case here - other LABC using the regularisation is a mistake probably due to the unprecented situation and huge influx of enquiries) where an AI has not been appointed nor a submission made to a local authority and works have been carried out. LABC is able to accept a Regularisation (but doesn't have to, it could proceed straight to formal legal action). Regularisation requires elements of the building work to be opened up for inspoection and if all ok they can then issue a certificate. So it is like a normal application but - after the event. Naturally it is a headache because so much harder to deal with by the building owner and LABC but it offers a more helpful way to 'regularise' an unauthorised situation.. AI's cannot undertake regularisation or formal legal enforcement. Reversion was provided within legislation primarily to deal with occasions of an AI unable to continue, usually because the AI could not seek compliance and since they cannot pursue formal action it has to be reversed to LABC to do so. It doesn't happen from time to time and even then will only relate to one project at a time.
    This situation is unprecedented and will place a huge workload on LABC. Aedis are not the only AI to go under. There is another smaller but nevertheless significant company and others are expected to struggle when the renewals come up but, no-one really knows yet.
    Sorry my last comment probably wasn't approporiate. What i was trying to say is that LABC seem to be getting some jibes despite the situation being caused by the private sector system. To expect LABC to jump to it, have all the answers and do it for nothing is unreasonable. Also some saying they'll carry on work. On that latter point, I would strongly advise against it as the probelm will come back later. I was then trying to say, work with LABC - don't view them as the enemy.
    We can only speculate why Aedis cannot secure insurance, it could be their own level of risk due to previous claims made...pure speculation of course...?
    Last edited by Whatamuddle; 05-07-2019 at 7:29 PM.
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 5th Jul 19, 10:22 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    I work at a senior level for an AI, while I donít know the precise reasons for Aedis demise I do know that insurers are getting very concerned about the risk profile and the type of contracts being imposed by large contractors.

    The REAL issue stems from Grenfell, how many similar cladding claims are sitting out there?
    It is worth noting that Grenfell was approved by the Local Authority, not an AI.

    The reason people use AIs is Competence and efficiency. AIs have massive hoops to jump through to prove they are competent and can lose their licence if they breach the code of conduct, labc have no such requirements and donít even have or need insurance. If I sign off non compliant work my employer will sack me, no messing.

    If your builder or Architect is using an AI because they get an easy ride then dump them ASAP , you may not realise this but it is up to YOU to comply with Building Regs, not your inspector so your builder or Architect is leaving this at your door.

    I have sympathy for Aedis and their great staff, this wasnít actually their doing, it is a combination of events and labc are not blameless in this.

    The best advice is, if you are using another AI, just get on with your build and do everything in you power to make sure you get an inspection report and do whatever is needed to get a final certificate, soooooo many people leave a few final items unfinished at the end of a project and donít get a final certificate, They too will need a reversion and that. Is their own fault.
    Originally posted by MTheInspector
    Yes, Grenfell was a LABC project however, there are many examples that, 'by the grace of God - or whomever' have not caused such a tragedy but nevertheless fail in the same way and were controlled by both LABC and private sector building control bodies.- Yes I can evidence that.
    People use AI's for a multitude of reasons but I think you are flawed to believe it is down to competency and efficiency alone. I say that because I have every respect for many AI's many of them being former LABC trained staff but, just because AI's need to prove their competency through CICAIR doesn't make them any better. One might question CICAIR's role given the performance of some AI's and it is fair to say that some LABC depts aren't always top notch. CICAIR's response to this situation has been pretty poor.
    I'm not sure how you can say LABC are not blameless in AEDIS demise; a silly statement really. As a profession we should be working better together, not slagging each other off. It is the system at fault and LABC certainly did not bring that into play.
    Yes AI's need to register with CICAIR and for that reason AI's have argued that there isn't a level playing field in competition. However equally LABC would claim an argument of unfair playing field too but, we could argue over that for years (and have done) and it would take us no-where.
    I too feel very sorry for Aedis staff, I have less sympathy for the company though but, I'll keep those reasons away from here as it's not really relevant. The fact is they have gone under along with another AI, so far. The impact of that is big for everyone

    Competitionin building control the way it has been set up has never sat well with me but I have a lot of friends and former colleagues in both sectors and respect all for their knowledge and expertise. I cannot see any differnce in standards of techncial knowledge between them. As for efficiency it varies between AI's and LABC - just as it does between business in other secrtors.
    LThe reason LABC doesn't have to have the same insurance is that they are legally reqauired to be 'around' AI's are not as we have seen and as such this needs insuring against.

    As senior member of an AI I'm disappointed by your remarks but it is a difficult situation. Who knows what the Government will introduce post consultation on their proposals for change but, both sectors need to respect one another and start to blame the ssystem and not each other for the poblems both face but more importantly what building control clients face.
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 5th Jul 19, 10:44 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    I only deal in facts. I do know, as a fact, that the insulation at Grenfell was non compliant, I did read dr Barbara lanes report saying that there was no fire stopping around the windows., just facts, nothing else.

    The other matter you refer to is here say. If anyone has evidence against an AI they simply report it to CICAIR and if itís true the AI will be sanctioned, again, facts.

    Where I do see a problem is that the whole regulatory process lacks teeth, this is because Local Authorities wonít enforce the regulations (and do not harp on about money, itís old and tired)

    Local authority building control are required to set the correct fee for each project, instead they try to beat AIs, school boy business, the very best AIs charge way more than the councils and get plenty of work from all types of customer who want a proper job.
    Originally posted by MTheInspector
    If you deal only in facts then please follow that right through your discussion. Yes, agreed the regulatory process lacks teeth - massively. It is a very difficult process but, it does happen and much more often than you suggest. Often, alternative legilsation is used through Trading Standards depts they are experts at such matters and their legilsation is more powerful. It doesn't mean that non complaince with the regulations is not followed through, it merely becomes a gfactor/evidence in a bigger case but achieves the result needed for the situation - that is a fact. TS cases are able to apply for proceeds of a crime and that assists with future cases because, whether you're tired of it or not, the fact is, money remains an issue - a big issue.
    The fees, yes I suspect LABC do their best to win projects. The reason being is that have to exist by statute within a self finacing position i.e. it does NOT receive Government Funding nor local tax payer funding for the competitive building control work. As such it has to make enough to maintain at least that statutory position. The more successful it is the easier it can respond to Reversion and other submissions it has no choice other than to accept.
    In terms of competing on cost LABC have fixed fees that it must publish and others for larger schemes that are costed on cost recovere for the project - no profit - the legislation and CiPFA guidance neither of which apply to AI's, prohibits it (it is more complex but that's the nub of it). I know that when LABC have lost projects to AI's the client has advised that it has been on the level of fee - of course LABC can only assume they are being told the truth. BUT these are the facts.
    Enforcement activitry that as you suggest, cannot be carried out by AI's is funded by the respective local authroity coffers but this is a very tight budget and covers many other aspects of the service of course not just enforcement. Like other organisations the legal dept determines ultimately the public interest test and so on, what the chance of winning is etc.Their decision doesn't always find favour with LABC! Decisions often being based on what you have referred to as being a toothless regulatory set up. I agree with you there! Hence Trading Standards are being used more and more.
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 5th Jul 19, 10:47 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    Whatamuddle -

    ĎDo you expect them to bail you out for free?í

    No. Where did I mention that? I didnít. Perhaps read my post properly. Iím
    Making the point that having notes from Aedis could affect what happens next - level of inspection and cost. Thats repeated by other building control companies Iíve spoke to.

    I have not given my LA any grief. Iím fully aware itís not their fault. I said they were not useful. Thatís hardly slagging them off. The person I spoke to was completely at a loss and wasnít sure what will happen. It was a friendly conversation.

    Iím not expecting anything for free nor giving the LA any stick.
    Originally posted by guitar77
    Then please accept my apologes. I have re-read you message and clearly I must be seeing it in the wrong light but your clarity here is welcomed. Again my apologes.
    • Whatamuddle
    • By Whatamuddle 5th Jul 19, 11:04 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Whatamuddle
    But Be clear LABC approved Grenfell, they were required to set a proper fee under the building regs fees regs, they are required to set the correct fee FOR THE JOB, they are not required to set a competitive fee, they have missed the point. In the 20 years of competition LABC have done nothing to improve competence, they only look at the fee.
    Originally posted by MTheInspector
    Yes, youi've said LABC dealt with Grenfell, AI's have apprioved many similar (yes it's a fact). So anyway - where has the point be missed? Not sure what you are saying about the fees but my comment that you refer to is accurate. Call it what you like but LABC has to win work just as AI's do to be able to provide the minimum statutory function. Competition came in 1985 but to be fair only really took hold in the mid nineties but certainly more than 20 years. Equally I cannot see where AI's have improved the building industry in terms of competency or compliance. The system that both LABC and AI's have to operate and compete in, was flawed from day one. It casued the lack of resource, the money problems, the opportunity to chose a regulator to provide the least grief: NO I'm not suggesting this is endemic of AI's it is just a fact that it has happened - I have as much respect for those professionals working in the private sector as those in LABC - some are good some aren't on both sides of the divide!
    LABC does have to set fees that recover costs - similar to AI's but, no profit. In some cases I dare say that AI's may provide a more robust service but equally it is known from client evidence (assuming it can be trusted) that isn't often the case. There are projects lost by LABC because the AI option offered less 'intrusion' - again as advised by the potential client. But the fees have to remain a self financing position by law - neither realising a loss nor a surplus. Within that it tries to provide a good service, staff are trained just the same as AI's but yes they don't, unlike AI's, need to prove that to CICAIR. The competency however remains equal.
    Last edited by Whatamuddle; 05-07-2019 at 11:08 PM.
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