Rogue builders in Brent demand £40,000 from couple for ‘£20 roof job’
PUBLISHED: 11:57 16 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:48 16 December 2016
Rogue builders in Brent demanded £40,000 from a couple for carrying out work on their roof which they said would cost £20.
Advice from Brent Council’s Trading Standards team
• Do not ever agree to building works offered by a cold caller.
• Never pay cash in advance to a builder.
• Obtain a least two written quotes.
• Where possible obtain references, or use recommendations of others.
• Look out for trades people who are registered in proper associations or who cone recommended on review websites.
• Consult Brent Council before commencing works to ensure all planning and building controls are being complied with.
Luckily the couple refused to pay and contacted Brent Council’s Trading Standards team who today have issued a warning to residents to be on their guard.
The team have had a catalogue of complaints from residents about builders who knock on doors and offer to carry out work or repairs which are often unnecessary and usually overpriced.
In this case the builders told the couple a few roof tiles needed replacing but once they started the job they stripped the roof of more tiles and demanded the five-figure sum.
Trading Standards advised the couple the builders had potentially broken the law by not providing notice of their consumer’s right to cancel the contract within 14 days.
If the notice is not given then the cancellation period can be extended by up to a year.
The rogue traders also breached legislation by intimidating the couple and misleading them about the work that was required.
The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, said: “Without the help of Brent’s Trading Standards team we’re not sure how we would have coped financially and health wise. The stress and anxiety over the last few days has been immeasurable and you have taken so much weight off our shoulders.
“We now feel that with the council’s help, support and advice we are able to move forward and have the re-roofing of our house completed by reputable roofers.”
Rogue builders are also known to carry out distraction burglaries on vulnerable residents after gaining access to their homes.
Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “I’m shocked that these sorts of scams are taking place in our communities and I am pleased Trading Standards were able to help this couple.
“Rogue builders who prey on vulnerable residents are despicable, deceiving homeowners out of thousands of pounds for shoddy, incomplete or even unnecessary works.
We will continue to do everything we can to prevent residents from becoming the victims of rogue traders.”
To report a rogue builder or for further help and advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
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