Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 25 Feb 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr Q’s building control complaint. This is because we cannot achieve the outcome he wants.
- The complainant, who I have called Mr Q, complained that Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council issued a building regulations completion certificate for his new home even though it had several defects.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information Mr Q provided. I considered the information the Council provided. I considered Mr Q’s response to a draft of this decision.
What I found
- A council must issue a completion certificate if it is satisfied building regulations have been met. A completion certificate is not a guarantee that all works have been done to the required standard.
- Mr Q bought a new house in a new development. His house and others had several defects, including issues with the drainage.
- Mr Q is taking action against the developer who built his house. However, he is unhappy the Council issued a building regulations completion certificate even though his house had serious defects. The Council said it had done what was required of it.
- Mr Q wants the Government to implement changes to the building regulations system so that similar problems do not happen again.
- We will not investigate this complaint.
- Mr Q is unhappy the Council issued a completion certificate despite his house having several defects. He wants changes to the building regulations system to stop this happening again. We cannot achieve this outcome for him as we have no power to force or require changes to legislation. It is open to Mr Q to lobby his MP about the matter.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman