Government Must Outlaw Cowboy Builders

Couple on sofa worried - cowboy builders

THE GOVERNMENT’s FAILURE to back legislation to tackle the scourge of cowboy builders is disappointing, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

This was in response to a call for the licensing of domestic building companies in a Private Members Bill by Conservative MP, Mark Garnier debated on 19 November in Parliament.

The Domestic Building Works (Consumer Protection) Bill  proposed the licensing to be overseen by a regulator, paid for by licensing fees. It included creating offences that would attract sanctions and fines. The proposed law also suggested an ombudsman scheme to help resolve disputes and the ability to pay compensation to domestic consumers.

Cowboy Builders

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “While the Government’s failure to back the Domestic Building Works (Consumer Protection) Bill is disappointing, its commitment to work with stakeholders and industry and find a solution to stamp out cowboy builders is at least welcome news.”

“With almost one third of homeowners having been put off undertaking major home improvement works due to the fear of hiring a dodgy builder, it’s clear we need to licence UK construction companies.

“It simply can’t be right in a modern economy that anyone can call themselves a builder without any form of licensing or registration to check they are competent. This is not only a serious question of consumer protection, but also one of promoting economic growth in the building industry.”

“77% of small, local construction firms back the principle of a licensing scheme so it is encouraging that many Conservative and Labour MPs are joining forces in support of tidying up the building industry. A licence to build would protect not only consumers but also quality builders from being undercut by unscrupulous and, all too often, dangerous cowboy builders.”

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