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    • waldopepper
    • By waldopepper 30th Jan 18, 12:51 AM
    • 18Posts
    • 28Thanks
    Paying a builder before final inspection + certs
    • #1
    • 30th Jan 18, 12:51 AM
    Paying a builder before final inspection + certs 30th Jan 18 at 12:51 AM
    Hi, I'm not sure if there are any official guidelines to how this should work but basically we're in dispute with our builder right at the end of a fairly large structural project.

    It started over a year ago, it has been just short of finished aside from some snags etc and a delay due to an insurance job getting in the way of completing the work. In lieu of any actual contract/terms etc (it's our first building work so we didn't know signed documents, payment schedules etc were needed vs lists of work to be undertaken in emails etc!). For about 6 months we had been telling the builder in emails that we will pay the final amount of the build (about 5%) once the snags are done, we have all paperwork: safety certs, manuals, guarantees and the job is signed off by the buildings inspector.

    The snags were fixed a week ago, but the builder informed us out of the blue that he now requires payment, then he would release the safety certificates, manuals etc to us, until then 'they remain property of my company'. He says this is just how his company works, but this has never been mentioned before and there is no paperwork mentioning this or any mention on his website. Until now, he had told us twice that the safety certs should have been sent to us, and asked if they had turned up. So to suddenly say it's not his policy to release until final payment raised our eyebrows.

    Whenever we had been asked for payment during the work we paid promptly, he has no reason to suspect we wouldn't pay, but we think he's !!!!ed because we found an issue with the quality of some of his work.. that was actually fixed by someone else via an insurance claim from another builder's cover (long story but didn't cost him anything, only lost face).

    This leaves us in a bit of a bind, because until we have the safety certs, the building inspector can't sign the whole job off.

    Citizens Advice have told us that without any proper contract, terms & conditions etc, technically we don't owe him anything. We want to pay him to get this issue behind us, so they said we could pay now (once he has given all his paperwork) but get him to sign something stating the final building inspection hasn't taken place yet and he would be liable for any issues highlighted.

    Is this what people would recommend? What is best practice? What would you do in this situation? Thanks!
Page 2
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 5th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
    • 25,198 Posts
    • 68,805 Thanks
    Doesn't your building inspector have an email address? Send it to them. They prefer it, generally.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 5th Mar 18, 1:09 PM
    • 822 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Thanks, our certificate has coloured boxes in each section, I assume this is what you mean by the colours? In that case ours is purple. It mentions elsewhere 'details of departures from BS7671:2008' (none listed), so sounds like the latest edition.

    So does it sound like the Registration number doesn't need to be completed in our case? thx

    Originally posted by waldopepper
    OK. Looking at your cert it is in fact blue (and not purple). It is not an NICEIC certificate. It appears to have been based on NICEIC certificates but produced presumably by certificate software. So in that case "Registration Number" and "Branch Number" may well be inapplicable. (As I stated technically they should then have been marked "N/A" but I wouldn't get overly hung up on that.)

    I will also avoid telling off the person who filled out the certificate for filling in "U = 230V" for nominal voltage. In fact Uo = 230V (voltage to Earth), and for a single phase system U is not applicable as this represents the voltage between phases. But as I said this is nitpicking a bit. Not everyone understands the subject matter as well as me.
    Last edited by Risteard; 05-03-2018 at 1:11 PM.
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