Stemming from a host of complaints received by the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC), the body is now seeking to develop a list of qualified contractors who will be recommended for building contracts.
This was revealed by a Consumer Affairs Officer, Feyona Austin-Paul during a consultation hosted at the Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown on Wednesday.
According to the Commission the value of complaints between 2016 and 2018 increased from $67,000 to $6.5M, although all were not centered on housing errors.
It is against this backdrop that the Commission is seeking to reduce these high numbers with the introduction of a Home builders Roadmap, which will among other things, provide a list of qualified contractors for home builders.
Austin-Paul explained, “Our hope is to have a list of competent contractors that we can make available to the public so through our consultations we are hoping to achieve that goal”.
She was keen to note that contractors both big and small will be included on the list of competent contractors, as long as they meet the basic requirements and are qualified.
When asked what qualifications would be necessary for contractors to be included on the list, this publication was told consultations on this is currently being rolled out to accurately determine same by relevant agencies.
In explaining the importance of the session the Officer said, “We expect to create a detailed outline of the steps, processes and methods of building or renovating a home to ensure that consumers are aware of the correct legal procedures of the construction process…to ensure that consumers are able to identify qualified contractors and to create a detailed hard-copy and a virtual Homeowners Roadmap for consumers which will be placed on the Commission’s website”.
Meanwhile, Director of CCAC, Dawn Cush said that the “Home builders Roadmap is intended to provide consumers with the relevant knowledge when they decide to invest in building a home”.
She added that while consumers have rights, they too must do their homework when given an estimate by contractors, so as to ensure they are getting their money’s worth, especially since building a home is a huge investment.
Cush also enlightened that if a person is unsatisfied with the work done by a contractor, it is their right to file a complaint against the builder which will ultimately result in an investigation.
Chairman of the Commission, Ronald Burch-Smith pointed out that a good start for the Roadmap would be for consumers to know their rights as it relates to warranty and keeping receipts.