Another bid to curtail cowboy window installers and other dodgy builders – and compensate their homeowner victims – is being put before parliament this week with a Bill to introduce obligatory licensing of all companies working in the industry.

The Bill, to go before MPs on Friday (Nov 19), gained the immediate backing of the Federation of Master Builders, which has campaigned for such a scheme via its Licensing Construction Task Force.

It is being introduced by Mark Garnier MP, who said: “Cowboy builders ruin the lives of their victims and tarnish the reputation of the vast majority of builders who are decent, hard-working people. This Bill will help to end this scourge once and for all.”

The Domestic Building Works (Consumer Protection) Bill, now going to its second reading, seeks to protect homeowners in England and Wales by introducing obligatory licensing of any domestic building businesses, with fines for non-compliance as well as a compensation scheme and an ombudsman service to resolve disputes between consumers and licensees.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “Licenses for the building trade are long overdue and have widespread support in the industry. They will protect consumers, enhance the reputation of the industry, and provide a significant boost to the economy.

“Through our Licencing Construction Task Force, supported by over 40 organisations, the FMB has been advocating for such a licensing scheme to be introduced as a means to drive up standards in the building industry. A licence for building companies would help ensure professionalism within the building industry; reduce health and safety infringements; and counter high levels of consumer detriment in the market.”

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