lizzie

Yet more bad press on mass market developers

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28 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

 

In a volume housing situation (as with most building work), the main contractor is always liable for the work on site

 

Surely it would be the plumber who was negligent though, as long as the main contractor checked he was gas safe and insured?

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1 hour ago, Mr Punter said:

 

Surely it would be the plumber who was negligent though, as long as the main contractor checked he was gas safe and insured?

Gas safe is not what you need for an UVC

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5 hours ago, JSHarris said:

One option might be to introduce an unannounced random inspection scheme, where a building inspector has the power to enter any site and randomly inspect anything, at any stage. 

 

The first time I met our BCO, it was exactly that. He'd tripped over the blockworker on another job and mentioned he would pop in on the way past just to "see how things were progressing"...

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2 hours ago, ProDave said:

Gas safe is not what you need for an UVC

 

Common misconception down here as GSR tend to be who have G3 certs as they go hand in hand. 

 

4 hours ago, the_r_sole said:

 

In a volume housing situation (as with most building work), the main contractor is always liable for the work on site

 

Not under English Law - the installer is the accountable person as they hold the certificate to say they are competent.  

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30 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

 

Under most contracts the work of subcontractors is the responsibility of the main contractor,  the scenario would be that the main contractor would claim against the subcontractors but the employer only has a relationship with the main contractor so they carry the liability for all defects.

 

Thats a contract law scenario. In the event of a failure to meet a statutory legal requirement, the liability is immediately transferred to the installer. 

 

We contract subs to install to G3 BRegs requirements - if they fail to do so, and in the event of an installation failing as it was not installed to G3, liability passes to the subcontractor. We are not G3 certified so cannot be liable for the install. If we didn’t check they were correctly certified then it’s our responsibility.  

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1 hour ago, PeterW said:

 

Thats a contract law scenario. In the event of a failure to meet a statutory legal requirement, the liability is immediately transferred to the installer. 

 

We contract subs to install to G3 BRegs requirements - if they fail to do so, and in the event of an installation failing as it was not installed to G3, liability passes to the subcontractor. We are not G3 certified so cannot be liable for the install. If we didn’t check they were correctly certified then it’s our responsibility.  

 

+1

 

This is how I've always understood it to work.

 

It is the responsibility of the specialist contractor (subbie) to ensure their works comply to building regs. Even to the point where the approved construction drawings show something that contravenes the regs, as an "expert" in your field, it is your responsibility to spot it and make sure it is changed.

 

Have had plenty of scenarios like that and the blame is always put back onto the sub-contractor for causing a delay, even if it is to draw attention to an error that could have life-endangering consequences. In many cases, the main contractor will just pressure them carry on as-is and say they will rectify it later. One of the MANY ways in which dangerous and shoddy details end up getting built.

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8 hours ago, Nick said:

Have had plenty of scenarios like that and the blame is always put back onto the sub-contractor for causing a delay, even if it is to draw attention to an error that could have life-endangering consequences.

 

And there will be elements of politics in it - if the subbie is not in the room, who will get the blame? And the blame makes a lot of difference when something changes.

 

I think that perhaps what is needed is clarity, and then to let other elements adjust. Yet if regulation is not thoughtful and considered, then there *will* be extra costs on the customer. How to avoid simplistic answers because simplistic answers are easy?

 

Is there a 'judge lead' enquiry going on yet? 

 

Ferdinand

 

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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I prefer solving things through market forces rather than employing more people in the public sector. One very simple change in the law would tip things towards better quality and prevent 105% mortgages or overvaluation.

 

In other countries homeowners have the right to return the keys and walk away free of mortgage debt.

 

If the banks had to face the prospect of owning shanty new builds they would ensure better quality homes. The current state of affairs is a David v. Goliath situation, if the banks had a vested interest in quality it creates a more equitable King-Kong v. Goliath contest.

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12 hours ago, PeterW said:

Thats a contract law scenario. In the event of a failure to meet a statutory legal requirement, the liability is immediately transferred to the installer. 

 

 

If the original installer has ceased trading where does liability end up?

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6 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

If the original installer has ceased trading where does liability end up?

The installer's insurance should cover this.  If they are criminally negligent, ceasing trading would not remove personal liability.

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13 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

I prefer solving things through market forces rather than employing more people in the public sector. One very simple change in the law would tip things towards better quality and prevent 105% mortgages or overvaluation.

 

In other countries homeowners have the right to return the keys and walk away free of mortgage debt.

 

If the banks had to face the prospect of owning shanty new builds they would ensure better quality homes. The current state of affairs is a David v. Goliath situation, if the banks had a vested interest in quality it creates a more equitable King-Kong v. Goliath contest.

 

While I consider the quality of new-builds generally to be crap (people in the construction industry relish telling you that they'd never buy a new build themselves), I can only assume that the general public must be by-and-large content with them and that the disaster scenarios are comparatively rare.

 

If they weren't, the properties wouldn't sell so well. One of the reasons there is incredible pressure to finish builds on time at the expense of quality control, is that the properties are often 90% sold before the building is complete. By the time you are at the snagging stage, the developer has lawsuits on their hand from people who have been waiting to move into their new home or let them out to tenants for months (the build will always be late to some degree). 

 

This is why developers take the commercial decision to let people move into buildings that are half-finished and sort out the snagging later. Much harder to prove poor build quality than breach of contract. If the buyer is an investor waiting to let the flat out to a paying tenant, they won't care about a few issues anyway. Let the tenant go through the hassle and disruption - they hardy every have the time or money to sue... and so it goes on.

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Quote

I can only assume that the general public must be by-and-large content with them and that the disaster scenarios are comparatively rare. [...]  If they weren't, the properties wouldn't sell so well.

 

The problem is, a home is not a discretionary purchase. Everyone needs one. There's a very limited supply. So people accept it's entirely a seller's market and just make do with the least worst option they can find. So long as the location is good, everything else can be fixed later...

 

It actually reminds me a lot of the healthcare industry in the USA. Everyone knows they're being robbed blind, but still play the game as going without health insurance is just not an option.

 

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35 minutes ago, joth said:

 

 

The problem is, a home is not a discretionary purchase. Everyone needs one. There's a very limited supply. So people accept it's entirely a seller's market and just make do with the least worst option they can find. So long as the location is good, everything else can be fixed later...

 

It actually reminds me a lot of the healthcare industry in the USA. Everyone knows they're being robbed blind, but still play the game as going without health insurance is just not an option.

 

 

Very true, but I can't help feel that the fact people continue to buy new-builds sight unseen when there are older properties available means they must be broadly satisfied with them. You'd at least expect to see a premium on older houses with new builds selling for less per m2 if the latter were generally accepted to be lower quality - if anything it was the other way round last time I checked.

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Unlike me I think a lot of people don’t like older properties because of the maintenance issue and see new build as not requiring work. A friend of mine said to me recently after completing my new build “ I thought you didn’t like new houses” my reply was “only if I build it myself and it’s got character “.

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... and why is the new build market completely sellers market? Is it not because of the way land is sold?

 

Thinking aloud, we don't see the inside of a car's engine when we buy a car, but somehow there's a reasonable good statistics showing the reliability of different cars. Does that mean the market works well for car quality? If so, would there be fewer problems with build quality should the land be sold to people and they then hired builders? As long as these builders are large enough there would be enough statistics to separate good from bad? Or are we in a situation where - unlike on a conveyer belt - all houses are so different that it is simply impossible to maintain a reasonable quality for a mass market? And unless a way is found to produce a house in a factory (including utilities) and then assemble it in place we are basically screwed? 

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