Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fake architect prosecuted – for the second time in UK

By Marguerite Lazell

A man who falsely called himself an architect has been fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £4,500 in costs after being pleading guilty to misusing the title architect.

It is the second time David Grant of east London-based Inspire Design has been successfully prosecuted for breaching Section 20 of the Architects Act, having been fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,300 costs at a previous hearing in September 2006, also brought by the Arb.

The latest charges brought against Grant included advertising under the "architects" listing in a telephone directory and using the title on the company's website.

Grant was found guilty of three breaches of Section 20 of the Architects Act at Stratford Magistrates' Court on May 13.

A spokesman for Arb's professional standards department said: "The level of fine and costs awarded in this case send a strong message to anyone who is fraudulently using the title architect. Arb remains committed to bringing such individuals to justice."

This weekend Grant was the subject of an article in the Sunday Times, which described how the "fake architect" had set up in London, claiming 25 years' experience, after a television documentary by RTE in Ireland revealed a catalogue of property dealings which included operating a hostel in Dublin without planning permission or a fire-safety certificate.

I bet this would raise some eye brows in Sri Lanka!... wonder what the SLIA thinks about all this? Maybe they should adopt some similar strategies.


Kulendra said...

Out of curiosity, you dont have to be an architect to provide a design right? It would be a bit ridiculous to say that I 'have' to ask someone else to design my own house.

I understand that the plan needs to be approved by someone for building and safety regulations, but surely design is not a problem?

Arkitekton said...

Obviously any one can design but in most UC's/MC's a qualified person has to certify the design ( Qualified person is defined in most documents as an architect/chartered architect, engineer, surveyor, valuer etc.)To practice architecture one needs to be registered with the ARB(Architects Registration Board)No person without the relevant qualifications can call themselves an Architect. It is illegal by law.
The problem is that most plans are passed by bribing the authorities, this has to stop immediately. It is these illegal and unauthorized buildings which pollute and disrupt the built environment.

Kulendra said...

Ah. Thanks for the clarification.

Arkitekton said...

This is exactly the problem in Sri Lanka. People are not aware of the roles, responsibilities, legal implications of an architect. The SLIA should make people aware of these. The pathetic website of the SLIA (www.slia.lk)is not the most user friendly web site either. The 2005 gazette and the SLIA act should be made available to the public freely.
The public may not be even aware of the fact that a student has to study 7 years at Architecture schools in order to become an architect. That's the same time duration that medicine students take to study in order to become a Doctor.