Scheme operators for TrustMark are supporting plumbers and heating engineers comply with signifcant changes that now apply to home improvement and repair contracts, after the introduction of Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. The new regulations introduce major changes in the law relating to consumer protection. They now apply to consumer contracts made on-premises (through retail stores), made at a distance (including online sales) and off-premises (in-home sales).

Plumbing & heating engineering firms will need to review their processes, change paperwork and terms and conditions to ensure they are operating within the new law. Failure to comply may result in prosecution or a fine, and the contract with the homeowner may also be invalid.

Liz Male, chairman of TrustMark, said: “These new Consumer Contracts Regulations will really help to clarify contracts for homeowners and tradespeople, so they should be viewed positively. It’s a big step forward to helping both sides enjoy a positive and transparent working relationship on all home repair, maintenance and improvement jobs.

“What matters now is that all TrustMark-registered firms get the detailed guidance they need in order to ensure they are fully compliant. I’m delighted our approved scheme operators in this sector, including the Building & Engineering Services Association are already busy providing this support to their registered firms.”

The key changes include: