Should Housing Inspections be in hands of Local Councils?

General outlook seems to go in favour

The public at large believes that housing inspections should be in the hands of local councils – at least, according to this survey.

Conducted by the APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) reported that 59% of the public are in favour of Building Inspections by local councils, while 23.4% support private inspections.

According to APSE chief executive, Paul O’Brien, the public clearly supports the role local councils play in keeping residents safe.

O’Brien believes that even though most inspections are being carried out by private companies, the fragmented housing market needs to be looked at again, where the role of local councils can be rehashed – in order to better ensure safety of the communities they serve.

The survey asked 1,634 participants, where support for local Building Inspectors was the highest among Conservative voters – 63.9%. More than 82% of participants, strongly supported the idea of giving local councils more powers to take landlords to task and more than 83% said that they wanted stronger interventions by the Government.

While the results of this survey certainly revealed a strong desire by the participants, at least to have more powers given to local councils to deal with housing issues – it may not necessarily be a perspective universally shared, as project demands can differ greatly which require different levels of support throughout each stage.  

The difference between a government and private building control inspector

Local council building inspectors and those working for private companies must essentially comply with the same criteria for building regulations, ensuring that your project also does the same.

So, if you pop online to search for either a private housing inspector / building control inspector or a local authority housing inspector, you will see that both are in line with the same set of practices, rules, standards, and what have you. Both must sign on to, the build’s technical drawings and make site visits at fixed intervals throughout the project.

Why choose a private housing inspector?

Choosing a private housing inspector will provide you with a very hands-on and highly dedicated service in most cases. They will visit you at every stage of the project, which can be useful for large, complex and challenging builds. You might even handpick a private inspector who has specialist experience, which can indeed be very useful of there are unusual aspects to your project which may require niche experience and knowledge.

Why choose a local authority housing inspector?

Similar to a private housing inspector in many respects, a local council inspector will cover a smaller geographical area, but this can be an advantage depending on your project – they may have more detailed knowhow on the local area and surroundings, along with any geological or ground issues which may need to be considered.

A local council inspector is given power of enforcement by the Government to resolve housing issues, which you won’t find with an independent or private inspector. So, if you run into any problems with the build, they can help you resolve them quickly. The same can’t be said for a private investor, as they will inevitably hand over the matter to a local council inspector in this case, because rules, regulations and standards require them to do so.

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