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Checkatrade News - February 2011

Feb
28
2011

Couple lost life savings to "builder from hell"

A couple has lost their life savings - roughly £20,000 - to the "youngest builder from hell," according to The Daily Record. The couple, Natalie and Robert Rae from Lanarkshire, Scotland, have claimed that 24-year-old Martin Hagan...
Feb
28
2011

Conman defrauds two elderly ladies

A 21-year-old man has been found guilty of conning two elderly ladies out of thousands of pounds in April 2009, the The Lennox Herald has reported.
Feb
25
2011

Scottish woman conned by cowboy builders

A Scottish woman was left £700 out of pocket after being conned by rogue builders. 76-year-old Sarah Kearns wanted steps and a wall repaired in her garden, so paid out £500 when three builders came to her...
Feb
24
2011

Cowboy builder jailed for criminal actions

A cowboy builder has been jailed for 17 months, after admitting to fleecing an elderly pensioner out of £5,000. The accused, Felix Rooney, carried out less-than-satisfactory work to the woman's driveway, but demanded payment...
Feb
23
2011

Pensioner pays for fake roof work

Police are looking for a man who conned a pensioner out of £90 for building work that was never carried out, reports suttonguardian.co.uk. The 82 year old woman from Carshalton, described as frail, was walking along the road when a...
Feb
23
2011

Woman warns others against cowboy workers

A woman who was targeted by 'cowboy' workers has spoken out about her ordeal, in a bid to warn others against the dodgy workmen. 62-year-old Barbara McClure spoke to the Peterlee Mail about her experience, which saw her and her husband,...
Feb
22
2011

FMB calls on government to help trades go Green

According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the government should drop VAT and stamp duty levels, in order for them to keep their promises. In order for builders, electricians, plumbers and other trades to prosper, the FMB said that...
Feb
18
2011

Cowboy builders left woman with £42k bill

A woman has told how cowboy builders destroyed her home, leaving her with a £42,000 bill and forcing her to sleep on the sofa for almost a year. Dr Ruth Watson's life was turned upside when she experienced 12 months of construction...
Feb
17
2011

Pensioner disappointed after compensation is refused

A pensioner who lost his life savings to a conman builder has spoken of his disappointment, after a court refused his claim for compensation. Judge Gareth Hawkesworth declined to award David Allard compensation, even after bogus builders...
Feb
16
2011

Police hunt conmen who swindled woman out of thousands

Police in Dunfermline are carrying out investigations after a woman fell victim to callous conmen who swindled her out of thousands of pounds. Detective Sergeant Paul Dick who is carrying out the investigation told the Dunfermline Press that...
Feb
15
2011

Gardening to drive DIY sector growth

Gardeners hoping to improve their property's gardens are to boost sales for DIY and gardening retailers over the next four years, new research has shown. According to a report by Verdict Research, the DIY and gardening sector is...
Feb
14
2011

Cowboy builders jailed after conning residents

Bogus builders who fleeced a number of elderly and vulnerable people across the North have been condemned by police. Newcastle Crown Court heard that the gang of four cold-called victims and posed as recommended builders, before taking payment...
Feb
10
2011

World-class training centre opens

A state of the art training academy has been officially opened in Peterlee, County Durham. East Durham College's new technical academy was visited by shadow business secretary John Denham; who declared the academy officially open after...
Feb
10
2011

Trusted tradesmen to be featured on 'DIY SOS'

Trusted tradesmen from local communities across the nation are to be featured on BBC 1's television show, 'DIY SOS', according to a press release on UKPRWire.com. The show - hosted by TV personality, Nick Knowles - helps the British public by...
Feb
9
2011

Charlotte Church escapes carbon monoxide poisoning

Charlotte Church and her two children almost died after a faulty boiler leaked gas into her new home. After suffering from headaches for a few weeks, she didn't realise she was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning until her grandfather...
Feb
8
2011

'Super Veg' seeds to hit the shelves at DIY store

For those that grow their own veg, the size of their produce is very important. At a time when the cost of food and veg is soaring, one DIY chain is selling varieties of vegetables which have been specially cultivated to provide crops...
Feb
7
2011

Investing in bathroom can add five per cent to a home's value

Homeowners looking to boost their property's value by calling in trusted tradesmen should consider investing in bathrooms. That's according to The Telegraph, which claims that adding a bathroom is worth the effort and investment, and is...
Feb
7
2011

Trading Standards launch crackdown on rogue traders in Birmingham

Trading Standards officers in the Midlands have launched a crackdown on rogue traders, after more than 6,000 people were ripped off in 2010. Most of the victims were pensioners, so Trading Standards officers from 14 councils across the region...
Feb
7
2011

Self-builds should be encouraged

More should be done to encourage people to try self-build projects, one expert claims. According to Gordon Miller, sustainability and communications director at Sustain Worldwide, those considering starting their own building projects are...
Feb
4
2011

Residents warned after bogus callers pose as repair men

Worcestershire housing association is warning residents to be aware of bogus tradesmen, pretending to be working on their behalf. In recent weeks two residents of Rooftop Housing Group have been contacted by people posing...
Feb
3
2011

Elderly couple conned by bogus tradesman

An elderly couple have been left fuming after a bogus tradesman conned them out of hundreds of pounds worth of savings. The victims both 73, were shown a handful of rotting wood by the doorstep tradesman who claimed it was from the outside of...
Feb
3
2011

Female plumbing company proves popular

A female-only plumbing company which opened in Northamptonshire, has told how they have seen a 100 per cent rise in their clientèle. Pink Lady Plumbing has found that their female customers feel more comfortable having a woman working...
Feb
2
2011

Elderly victims conned on their doorstep

Two elderly residents in Walsall have been conned out of hundreds of pounds in a doorstep scam. In both cases, the victims were told that plants in their garden were damaging their neighbours' property and that they needed to be removed or...
Feb
2
2011

SME's to benefit from retrofit project

Small and medium sized enterprises (SME's) in London are to benefit from a £10 million project which encourages innovation and best practise in the city's green retrofit market. FLASH is a free programme which initially will support...
Feb
1
2011

Conman pretends to be victims grandson for life savings

A ruthless conman convinced a dementia sufferer that he was his grandson, in an attempt to get his life savings. Scott Fothergill said if the man withdrew thousands of pounds from his bank account, he would help him to carry out...
Feb
1
2011

Conman's mum pays back victim

The mother of a rogue trader felt so sorry for his latest victim that she visited the man's home and paid back the cash that was taken from him. Heartless conman, Errol Flynn, tried to fleece Leslie Dove out of £7,000 as part of a...
Feb
1
2011

Extensions can add £10,000 to house value

Homeowners struggling to raise the price of their property would do well to call in the builders, because building an extension is the easiest way to add value to the house whilst providing room for the family to grow. That's according to The...