The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is behind a new scheme aimed at reducing the risks taken by consumers when they employ a tradesman to work in their home. The aim of the scheme is to reduce the number of consumers being conned by rogue traders who produce shoddy workmanship or simply disappear with a customer’s money.

The new RICS Client Money Protection Scheme will act as a ‘referee and ombudsman’ and sit between the customer and the tradesman holding monies on larger scale works. However, whilst this is aimed at the consumer, it will be of great benefit to those people currently undertaking construction courses as well as qualified plumbers, trained electricians, certified carpenters and other trades people.

How will the scheme work?

A large deposit is held by the scheme having been paid in by the consumer and not paid directly to the builder and this money will not be released to the builder until the work is complete. There are certain caveats that both parties must adhere to - the value of the project needs to be worth more than £2000 and consumers will need to pay a small amount into a consumer protection guarantee account to begin with.

This will mean that both parties are covered in the event of any dispute as the tradesperson will be safe in the knowledge that the money has been deposited and is being held securely whilst the consumer is happy that the tradesperson will only be paid once they produce work that is satisfactory. It also protects the consumer from being pressured into paying by the tradesperson.

The man who brought this idea to life is Harvey Ellington, who spoke to mycouncillor.org.uk, ‘the concept is simple. This Escrow account is fully protected by the RICS Client Money Protection Scheme meaning your money is totally safe. This removes all the elements of risk for the consumers and traders too. Cowboy builders and rogue tradesmen will be quickly caught out. This is a major step forward for consumers in this country.’

However, tradesperson and consumers must also be aware that cowboy builders are rarely qualified. So before the consumer settles on a tradesperson they should ask them whether they are a member of any professional organisations and what qualifications or construction courses they have completed. For instance, gas engineers by law must attend relevant training and courses to become Gas Safe registered. Electricians working on domestic properties must either be working for a company or personally qualified to Part P of the Building Regulations. Most reputable electricians will also be part of a competent person scheme such as the NICEIC.

If you are a tradesperson looking for construction courses call Access training today and we’ll get you qualified quickly and efficiently.

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