The leading trade association for the plumbing and heating industry is warning consumers that the new Home Information Pack could cost them thousands of pounds if they dont choose their tradesmen wisely.
The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) is calling on consumers to use only those plumbers and heating engineers who are certified under a Competent Persons Scheme. APHC is using the launch of its own new Competent Persons Scheme on 23 January to raise the wider issue.
Few consumers realise that from 1 June 2007, all homes being sold will be subject to a local search which will detail if works on plumbing and heating (and numerous other) systems have been approved by buildings control or correctly fitted by a Competent Persons Scheme-approved engineer. If this search reveals that works have not been officially approved, then buyers will be in a strong position to demand a discount or to insist upon remedial work being undertaken. This work could easily run into thousands of pounds.
Clive Dickin, APHCs Chief Executive, explains: "The requirements of the Home Information Pack will come as a nasty shock to some homeowners who wish to sell. If they cannot demonstrate that building services work has been officially approved by building control, they will struggle to sell because a conveyancing solicitor is likely to advise their client not to proceed. This means that at the very least, the homeowner will have to contact the local building control officer to gain approval of the works - this takes time and money.
In the worst case, the homeowner will have to invest in remedial work to bring their home up to standard. "The easiest way to guard against this nightmare is to use only those tradesmen who are members of a Competent Persons Scheme. These Schemes are run by professional bodies and allow proven high-quality tradesmen to self-certificate their work, rather than calling out the local building control officer every time. For the consumer, this simply means that the work done in their home is automatically approved and will show up as such on their Home Information Pack search. "Today we are launching the most comprehensive Competent Persons Scheme for the plumbing and heating industry.
Our scheme allows plumbers and heating engineers to certificate a wide range of work in your home, and our very high quality standards mean you will only be dealing with the most professional and skilled tradesmen. In the unlikely event of a tradesman falling short of the required standard, customers are protected by a warranty that will be honoured by us." It is only like-for-like replacement works that are acceptable without notification to the local building control office.
That means 90% of plumbing and heating works completed in homes do require notification and would show up as uncertified on your Home Information Pack search if they have not been notified.Contact APHC on 02476 472503.