PCA Weekly News - 6th June 2020

In your weekly PCA update this week:

  • PCA Holds First Ever Online Training Course
  • PCA Unveils NEW Ground Gas Protection Sector
  • Changes to SEISS & CJRS Schemes
  • Management of knotweeds through Tarping Survey
  • Up Next: Getting to Grips with Giant Hogweed
  • Landmark Negligence Ruling
  • Did the Deathwatch Beetle feature in ‘Read of the Week’?
  • Missed the Webinar? View the Recording

PCA Holds First Ever Online Training Course

Your Association’s Technical Manager James Berry delivered the PCA’s first ever online “Understanding Dampness and Condensation” course last week. This online workshop was aimed at housing officers looking to gain further understanding of moisture related defects within buildings and topics.

The journey to how we actually got to this point however, is actually pretty interesting. Read James’ thoughts on how our communication journey throughout COVID-19 led to this online training, by clicking on the button below…

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PCA Unveils NEW Ground Gas Protection Sector

Your Association is delighted to have launched the Ground Gas Protection sector of membership. Criteria for membership has been published and we have welcomed a number of ‘trail blazing’ ground gas verification and installation companies, as well as product suppliers, to the PCA. This now delivers a means of finding vetted and approved experts that can be accessed by anyone looking for a PCA ground gas specialist to help with any project.

Interested in training? Members can contact Jade for more information on the training course which is due to take place in the next few weeks, on 01480 400000 or via email on jade@property-care.org.

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Changes to SEISS & CJRS Schemes

The latest Government announcements regarding the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) & the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) were shared with members in our mid-week email. It was a lot of information to digest whilst we await more information from Government which is due on 12th June.

In the meantime, our Accountants Thomas Quinn have put together a handy one-page overview on these changes and extensions, which we hope members will find of value. You can access the document via the button below.

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Management of knotweeds through Tarping Survey

Ever since the Commons Scientific Select Committee report was published (Japanese Knotweed and the Built Environment) we have been taking a keen interest in Japanese knotweed research on the continent where, it was suggested, there may be a more ‘laissez-faire’ approach to managing this invasive plant.

We reported to members that there is publicly-funded field research in Holland and now we understand that the French government’s flagship agricultural research institute INRAE, have established a knotweed research team. We gather they are very keen to develop non-chemical control strategies and, as such, are keen to discover all and any data/information they can about tarping trials. If you have any independent observations to make, you may like to respond to their questionnaire via the button below.

We will keep members posted regarding developments in both Holland and France and we hope to be able to share our (your!) expertise with this and other groups in the near future.

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Up Next: Getting to Grips with Giant Hogweed

Our series of webinars continues with ‘Getting to Grips with Giant Hogweed’ on Thursday 11th June 2020, from 9-10am. Join Max Wade from AECOM and understand what Giant Hogweed is, how it can be identified and the problems associated with this invasive plant. What impact has COVID-19 had on Giant Hogweed and what can you do about it if your skin is unlucky enough to come into contact with it?

Max will guide us through surveying and treatment updates based on the updated PCA guidance and is sure to be a webinar that you and your colleagues won’t want to miss! Members can register now via the button below.

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Landmark Negligence Ruling

This landmark ruling is a reminder to us all of the importance of a thorough survey, concerning damages of £750,000 awarded to a couple for a RICS surveyor’s negligence following a Level 2 Homebuyers Report. Despite no presence of dampness at the time of the survey, the surveyor was found to be negligent as he made the assumption that there was suitable provision for damp proofing and protection for lateral penetration from higher ground level, despite not being able to see this was the case. It was deemed that the surveyor should have said he was not able to inspect this area and that further investigation/information/or opening up was required.

This is an important lesson to all surveyors and is likely to make RICS members even more cautious when inspecting damp defects in buildings, increasing their reliance on third part specialist surveyors such as members of the PCA.

What is novel about this ruling is the way the damages has been calculated. However the surveyor has been granted permission to appeal on the issue of the correct measure/valuation of damages. Members can access the full judgement, via the button below.

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Did the Deathwatch Beetle feature in ‘Read of the Week’?

‘A Scots Dictionary of Nature’ was featured as “read of the week” in Scotland’s national paper, The Herald, recently. But why did it catch our attention? The book is based on a 19th-century Scottish dictionary and includes the term “dedechack”, meaning; the clicking noise made by woodworm in houses.

The only woodworm we normally associate noise with is the Deathwatch Beetle, which as some of our members will know, is considered very rare north of the border. It seems strange therefore that a word would come into common usage for something so rare?!. Also, is the use of this word telling us that the Deathwatch beetle (which we assume is what is being described), used to be commonly found in Scotland when timber houses were common?

For those who may be keen to read more, you can click on the button below.

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Missed the Webinar? View the Recording

A big thank you to all of our PCA members who joined ‘Building a Mentally Resilient Workforce’ on Thursday 4th June 2020. Russell Mott from ATAS UK guided us through the impact of the coronavirus and how the mental wellbeing of our workforce is increasingly important.

Thank you for your patience as we dealt with the sound issues and for your engagement on the polls. Members can view the recording by simply clicking on the button below.

View the Recording >>


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