Constructions Loans News:-Builders are coming together to create a mandatory licensing scheme to improve quality and professionalism in the sector.

A new construction licensing task force, supported by a range of leading industry bodies, will lead the initiative.

Hank Zarihs Associates | New licensing scheme to raise building standards

Task Force chair Liz Peace, former British Property Federation chief executive, said the scheme would transform Britain’s industry into a world-leading sector.

“At the heart of what we’re trying to do is increase protection for the ordinary person who engages with the construction sector.

“Licensing has support in principle from more than 30 construction organisations and consumer groups. I am heartened by the fact that the sector is coming together to lead the industry in a new direction.”

The moves follows FMB research which found nearly a third, 32 percent, of homeowners are putting off doing major improvements for fear of hiring a dodgy builder.

UK economy paying for worries about poor workmanship

The Federation of Master Builders, FMB, has calculated the UK economy is missing out on £10bn of construction activity a year because of anxiety over rogue building firms.

More than three quarters of consumers, 78 per cent, want to see a licensing scheme. Nearly 90 per cent of home owners believe the government should criminalise rogue and incompetent builders. More than half of people, 55 per cent, who commission home improvements have had a bad experience.

FMB chief executive, Brian Berry, said: “It’s unacceptable that more than half of consumers have had a negative experience with their builder.

“However, we shouldn’t be surprised by this given that in the UK, it is perfectly legal for anyone to set up a building firm and start selling their services without any prior experience or qualifications.

“This cannot be right given the nature of the work and the potential health and safety risks when something goes wrong.”

He said in Australia and Germany, building firms were required to have a licence and that the FMB and partners wanted a similar scheme.

More than three quarters , 77 per cent, of SME builders support licensing to professionalise the industry, protect consumers and side-line unprofessional and incompetent firms, said the FMB.

The Association of Consultancy and Engineering, Chartered Institute of Building and the Construction Products Association are among the 11 organisations sitting on the taskforce.

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders would welcome a rise in building standards. The company added it would make it easier to grant constructions loans and development and refurbishment finance for new projects.

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