With more and more competent person scheme registrant cases surrounding negligent workmanship coming to light that are being literally ‘disowned’ by the incompetent individuals responsible it is extremely important that scheme registrants and other service providers recognise their business as well as personal liability in particular when issuing non-regulatory documentation to the consumer.

The Gas industry for instance is regulated with two specific statutory Instruments at its core, these are: GAS SAFETY INSTALLATION & USE REGS 1998 and the GAS APPLIANCES (SAFETY) REGS 1995, all gas work and installation of gas appliances etc. must comply with these statutory instruments with such work certificated on a yearly safety maintenance basis. If certification runs out on any gas appliance the building owner is at risk until re-certification occurs in accordance with these statutory documents, if defective gas work is carried out the penalties are draconian. 

However, the solid fuel industry does not suffer this level of competent criteria, has no such statutory requirements or penalties for wrong doing and thus relies solely on either self-opinion, misinterpretation or third party narrative from less than coherent sources as a yard-stick for guidance.

Gas Safe Engineers know full well that their work must comply, the risk and thus penalties for defective workmanship leading to injury or a fatality are well known, in the worst case scenario a criminal offence, our wishy-washy industry has no such co-ordinates with which to aim its dodgy compass at with scheme registrants and other would be experts issuing all types of unlawful certificate that bear no intrinsic value or reference to the work carried out or are these worthless bits of paper a guarantee of either compliance having been met or that such work was carried out in a safe and non-hazardous fashion.

Lately, a number of scheme fitters have felt it necessary as a marketing ploy to announce on their websites that their work carries a one year guarantee although no mention of what this guarantee actually alludes to or the caveats and/or waivers within, however, what appears to have been conveniently overlooked by anyone carrying out an installation or part thereof is their liability to provide not one but a six (6) year warranty/guarantee against defective and/or non-compliant workmanship, reference to this liability can be found within the Hetas ‘Rules of Registration’ whereby: “The installer will rectify any work that is non-compliant with the Building Regulations for six years after completion” with further reference to MHCLG the Building Regulations - Competent Person Self Certification Schemes - Conditions of Authorisation: “Financial protection must be provided for a minimum of six years from the date of completion for work to dwellings”

This clearly indicates without argument that workmanship liability on and/or to a domestic dwelling must be warranted/guaranteed for a period of six (6) years from the date of completion, this has nothing whatsoever to do with a useless work certificate, this is a consumer right!

Ultimately, if an installation or similar type of domestic work is responsible for either (directly or indirectly) personal injury, loss, damage and/or a fatality anywhere between completion and a claim the fitter, sub-contractor or whomever will be held liable having to prove that their work did in fact meet minimum safety and compliance standards at the time and that such work was neither negligent and/or incompetently carried out, this status doesn’t alter irrespective whether a ‘certificate’ is issued or not, the issuer is bound to it “Ad Infinitum”. 

Certificates issued for and on behalf of scheme registered workmanship (solid fuel appliances and associated equipment) do not have a ‘run-out’ date as do Gas Safe certificates, the two cannot be construed as legally compatible as one is recognised by way of statutory law and the other by way of a private registration business with no authority whatsoever similarly chimney sweeping associations. 

Consumers have a right to a six year guarantee against non-compliant/negligent workmanship, therefore make sure when employing an installation business or self-employed fitter/chimney sweep they make this categorically clear within any contract arrangement. 

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