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hillbillie

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Had a chat with someone from Napit today regarding withholding notification and certification if a customer doesn't pay.

Napit's policy is that a contract should be given to the customer and it is fine to include on the contract a note saying that notification and installation/test certificates will be issued on payment.

However, Napit still want us to notify the work within 21 days of completion. If the customer hasn't paid I was advised to notify the work but have the certificate sent to my address and then, pass it and the EIC etc onto the customer only if I receive payment.

I don't know what Elecsa or NICEIC want their sparks to do but it does seem we do have a legal way of withholding something from difficult customers.
 
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i have this in my terms and conditions, but also state that in order to comply with building regulations notification needs to be made with in 21 days of completion and in order to do so full payment must be made.

on the off chance that it comes back to haunt me i will explain that the job as a whole was not complete and that is why notification was not made :)
 
S

Swicade

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Be interesting to know what Elecsa and Nic advise on this.....might be the final piece int he jigsaw for me working out which one to give my money to for this Part P thingy.
 

DaveyD

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Arms
i have this in my terms and conditions, but also state that in order to comply with building regulations notification needs to be made with in 21 days of completion and in order to do so full payment must be made.

on the off chance that it comes back to haunt me i will explain that the job as a whole was not complete and that is why notification was not made :)
Hey, that's a great idea DD. I'm having that. Thanks.
 
I shouldn't worry about the 21 days. I don't think I've notified one job within that timeframe and ELECSA's never pulled me on it. I tend to notify mine in batches every couple of months by working back along my and my other sparkies diarys.
 
H

hillbillie

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  • #6
i have this in my terms and conditions, but also state that in order to comply with building regulations notification needs to be made with in 21 days of completion and in order to do so full payment must be made.

on the off chance that it comes back to haunt me i will explain that the job as a whole was not complete and that is why notification was not made :)
There is considerable flexibility here. I asked the Napit bloke when the 21 days started from, for instance with a job that takes two weeks in all but the consumer unit got changed on the first day. He said basically its up to me. If I deem that the job wasn't complete until the last day, when, for example, I might have the last part of the schedule of inspections sheet to fill in or something similar then so be it.




I shouldn't worry about the 21 days. I don't think I've notified one job within that timeframe and ELECSA's never pulled me on it. I tend to notify mine in batches every couple of months by working back along my and my other sparkies diarys.
In the last year Napit has been encouraging its members to be more punctual with their notifications. I was told the some councils have got annoyed by sparks doing all their notifying at the end of the year and, though he didn't say if this has happened, a council may refuse to accept notifications from persistent offenders.

The 21 days isn't set in stone and he did imply that notification could be done later with no consequences but their policy is 21 days. I'm guessing you might get a polite reminder eventually if you were a Napit spark and waited 2 months before notifying. It's no skin off their nose but individual councils might moan at them.
 
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StuSpiers

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
If I get even a wiff of non payment I notify but send it to my address.

That is what Elecsa recommend
 
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drew35

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  • #8
If you're worried about the start date and the 21 days just change the date on the certificate, who knows, and who will care? But defiantly don't give them anything, I usually tell them after 21 days it can no longer be notified and I will then report them for having building work carried out without certificates.
 

imago

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Arms
Esteemed
it does seem we do have a legal way of withholding something from difficult customers.
Sadly you don't. Have a look into, or ask someone qualified, about contract law (not someone from NAPIT!) as putting such a condition in would render the whole contract void.

In it's simplest form the contract is that you agree to complete certain works (the offer) the customer agrees (acceptance) and you get paid (consideration). The work is not complete until the certificate is supplied, therefore payment is not due until the certificate is received.
 
H

hillbillie

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  • #10
Interesting point. So I would need a solicitor specialising in contract law to sort out my contracts? Perhaps a way around this would be to either not mention certification and notification in the contract or mark it as a free service?
 

imago

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Arms
Esteemed
You could innocently 'forget' to certify the job, then when they phone asking mention the amount owed.

Basically though, the law requires that building standards are adhered to, and part of that is compliance with part 'P', which in turn requires certification. So if you don't supply a certificate you're in breech of that requirement. In law two wrongs don't make a right, so you really should supply the cert and take action against the customer for outstanding or late payments.

On a personal note, if I get a bad or uneasy feeling for a potential customer I don't work for them. If they need a reminder I ring them, if that doesn't work I ask them face to face. I can hand on heart say that I have never had anyone who didn't pay, but that doesn't mean it will never happen.

There is no point in spending time and energy trying to work out your own contract with clauses and caveats because all that will happen if it goes legal is you will loose out because any competant solicitor will tear it apart.
 
H

hillbillie

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
Thanks for the reply.

I too haven't had a non paying customer. I was concerned about a recent customer and so I looked into what I could do. Luckily the punter in question paid so I never had to take it any further.

I will sort out a better contract though as it seems they are useful if customers refuse to pay. Solicitors and debt collectors seem to like a paper trail.

I suppose if the threat of not getting certificates doesn't deter a non-payer then its better to give them the certificates and be the one on the right side of the law when it comes to legal proceedings.
 

baldelectrician

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
Here's what I do

  1. Live in Scotland (no part P here) :D
  2. Use certificate software
  3. Issue cert on payment

If they ask for a cert before payment I use Easycert to do one, but watermark it 'copy- not valid'. I then issue a correct cert when paid.
I use a laptop onsite, so can email to client there and then


Remeber we have to a certificate, but the law doesn't say we have to sign it a particular way, or we can't watermark it.
 
G

Guest123

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  • #14
This question has come up quite a few times and always gets mixed responses.

Holding a test cert to ransom in order to extort payment from a non paying customer is viewed by my schemie (NIC) as a big no no. Technically, without a valid certificate you have not completed your work as you were contracted to do so the customer doesn't have to pay you as they were contracted to do.

If it goes to court, the first thing you will be told is to issue the certificate and only then will payment be chased on your behalf.

Personally I never have nor would I use a test cert as leverage, can only end badly for you IMO.
 

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