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Trading Standards issue warnings over rogue traders

By David Howells, on 5 May 2011

Trading standards in West Yorkshire are warning locals to avoid unscrupulous cowboy builders after two cases in the area highlighted the damage they can do.

The first case involved a rogue trader building a £14,000 conservatory over a public sewer. The conservatory now looks set to be demolished, leaving the householder with nothing but debt.

The second case involved a workman who put his company into liquidation after just six months of working on a two-storey extension originally planned to cost £65,000. By the time the job was abandoned, the homeowner had paid £74,000 and the place was left in an "incomplete and unsafe state."

Spokesperson for West Yorkshire Trading Standards Graham Hebblethwaite warned residents to check references thoroughly and only award work to trusted tradesmen. He told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, "My advice is to chose builders very carefully."

"They should insist on written contracts detailing works to be carried out. Substantial advance cash payments should be avoided and professional advice should be sought where appropriate."

Hebblethwaite told of the consequences people have faced for taking on the rogues in a bid to discourage more from doing the same. He said, "In recent cases reporting to trading standards, the standard of work has been so poor, the householder has had no option but to pay for its removal and start again."

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