Complaints about cowboy builders and poor workmanship on the rise
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It is every homeowner’s worst nightmare.
Spending thousands of pounds on home improvements - only to be left out of pocket with work either left unfinished or poorly executed.
But it seems for more and more homeowners this nightmare is becoming a reality.
Citizens Advice has revealed there were a surge of complaints against builders and gardeners last year.
Around 60,000 home improvement problems were reported to the watchdog, a 19% increase on the previous year.
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More than half of the complaints, 54%, related to substandard service such as shoddy workmanship and jobs not completed on time.
Last month Suffolk tradesman Mark Everett was slapped with a suspended jail term after £113,000 was needed to rectify “fundamentally unsafe” work he carried out at a Bury St Edmunds home.
The work had a “catastrophic” impact of the lives of Liz Cummins and Kelly Cameron, putting stress on their relationship and the lives of their children.
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A further 4,632 complaints were made about major renovations, a 33% increase, and 4,797 complaints about fitted kitchens, up 5%.
Citizens Advice received 8,860 complaints about gardening products and services, a 29% increase, and 5,828 relating to roofing and chimneys.
While the organisation said it could not explain why there had been such a steep rise in the number of complaint it advised the public to exercise caution when hiring tradesman.
Chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Increasing numbers of people are turning to Citizens Advice for help after bad building or gardening work threatens to leave them out of pocket.
“When you are looking to get building work done there are a number of important steps you should take.
“Always get things like quotes and contracts in writing and keep a copy of your communications and receipts, so you can easily compare what you are paying for with the end result.
“If you have had a problem with a contractor, and you are not sure what to do or where to go, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.”