How can we help?

We are certified by the Chartered Trading Institute (CTSI) to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to FMB members and their clients, to assist in reaching a satisfactory outcome to building disputes.

Our ADR scheme is a flexible process, conducted confidentially, in which we will actively assist both parties to work towards a satisfactory agreement. FMB members are required to participate in the process as part of the FMB’s Code of Conduct

Use our online form to apply for mediation, or where mediation is not required or not applicable, you may use this form to report a member for alleged misconduct.

We employ four ADR officials who receive regular specialist training and operate the FMB Dispute Resolution procedure in an impartial and fair manner. We maintain a Conflict of Interest log to ensure that this is the case. 

Got a question?

Call our disputes team on 0113 201 4263, email us or use the online chat on this page (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Email disputes team

How does this work?

The intention of the Dispute Resolution Procedure is to reach an agreed solution via telephone mediation and by reference to relevant documents. In the majority of cases this is successful, but where it is not, both parties are free to take further action including formal legal proceedings. No legally binding decisions will be made on your behalf. Only you and the builder can decide what the outcome of the process will be. 

Raise a dispute

  • Confirm your builder is an FMB member by using our Check a Member search*. If they are not an FMB member you should contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. 
  • Before raising a dispute you must have attempted to resolve the matter directly with your builder by clearly describing in writing the things you are unhappy with and how you want the dispute to be resolved. You should give them at least 10 working days to respond.
  • Using our online form you can either:
    • Apply for mediation - if the work is incomplete or requires rectification you must be willing to have the member back to remedy or complete works; or
    • Report a member (not applying for mediation) - we take all allegations of misconduct seriously and we will conduct an internal investigation, which consists of monitoring our members compliance with the FMB’s Code of Conduct.
  • Complete the online form. Please note we can only accept complaints in English.  If you are unable to complete the online form, please contact 0113 201 4263 to request a postal form.

* We write to all businesses that are found to be using our logos and/or wording that makes claims they are a member of the FMB when they are not. Unfortunately, not all of the businesses contacted remove the false claims and continue to mislead consumers.  Please report logo misuse to [email protected]

 

FMB initial response

  • Once we receive your form, we will process it within 5 working days and will contact you to confirm your case number.
  • A copy of the form will be passed to our member, who must provide a written response within 10 working days. If they fail to do so, we will send them further reminders allowing a maximum response time of 20 working days
  • If our member fails to respond within 20 working days*, they will be expelled from membership for non-compliance with the FMB Code of Conduct.
  • Once the member response is received, a copy of this will be forwarded to you. We will also explain our next steps and whether the case will be worked in house or forwarded to CEDR** for their consideration. 

* We may allow an extension to the deadline in some circumstances. 
** Some cases are referred to The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), an independent dispute resolution organisation and charitable body, which is approved by the CAA and CTSI. This service is also offered free of charge, and is provided at the FMB’s discretion where required. 

The mediation process

  • After a member response is received, we aim to reach an outcome within 30 working days
  • We will carry out telephone mediation with both parties and attempt to find an agreeable compromise and, if necessary, try to narrow the issues in dispute. 
  • We may request further documentation to support your dispute such as independent reports and photographic evidence.
  • If neither party is able to present a solution, we may suggest a solution for you to consider, but which you do not have to accept. We may also ask the FMB’s Technical Team for advice and a suggested solution. 

Closure process

  • If you are successful in reaching an agreed solution to resolve the dispute, we will produce a document outlining any agreement or recommendations and subsequently close the case. 
  • If we are unable to assist in reaching an agreed solution, we will notify both parties and close the dispute. Both parties are free to take further action including formal legal proceedings.
  • We do take action against members where this is warranted, and each year the FMB does expel a small number of members who have failed to abide by our Code of Conduct. However, we must follow a clear process, regulated by the CTSI, we cannot simply expel a company without further investigation, however badly the client feels they have been treated.  To do so would be clearly unfair.  
  • We may refer a member to our Standards Committee, which can apply sanctions up to and including expulsion from membership. It is at the FMB’s discretion whether a case is referred to the Committee for consideration, and this is an internal process which aims to monitor our members compliance with the FMB’s Code of Conduct. 

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Expelled members

We can expel a member for breaches of our Code of Conduct and we expel a small number of builders each year.

Builders claiming false FMB membership

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) logo and the wording Federation of Master Builders and FMB are registered trademarks.

FMB Code of Conduct

FMB members are committed to abide by the FMB's Code of Conduct.