The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has reprimanded an architect working in Belfast for failing to enter a written agreement with his client before starting work
The board’s professional conduct committee heard that Don James Rush of Rush & Company had been appointed to obtain planning permission for six semi-detached homes.
However, he did not enter a written agreement for this work, therefore undermining this expectation as set out under Standard 4.4 and 4.6 of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice 2010.
The proposals were refused in May 2015, giving rise to the allegation made by two complainants, known as DS and PK.
The board said that the failure of Rush to comply with Standard 4.4 and 4.6 of the code was ‘serious because it gives rise to the potential for misunderstandings and confusion, and to the breakdown of the architect/client relationship’.
Rush admitted the allegation and accepted that it amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.
The PCC noted that the architect had no ‘no adverse regulatory history’ in his 35-year career. It also stated that no aggravating factors were identified and that the risk of repetition was low.
Rush has been contacted for comment.
You are expected to ensure that before you undertake any professional work you have entered into a written agreement with the client which adequately covers:
• the contracting parties;
• the scope of the work:
• the fee or method of calculating it;
• who will be responsible for what;
• any constraints or limitations on the responsibilities of the parties;
• the provisions for suspension or termination of the agreement, including any legal rights of cancellation;
• a statement that you have adequate and appropriate insurance cover as specified by ARB;
• the existence of any alternative dispute resolution schemes that the contract is subject to and how they might be accessed;
• that you have a complaints-handling procedure available on request;
• that you are registered with the Architects Registration Board and that you are subject to this code.