Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'cowboy builder'.
Found 3 results
In January 2009 we hired builders after checking several companies, getting referrals and looking at their work to build an extension. We realized later that their referrals were friends of theirs who were in on the [problem]. We did staged payments and only paid into a bank account electronically. The council's planning department knew early on they were cowboys, but never told us until the builders walked off the job with claims they were being harassed by the planning department. We found out they did not use insulation, the roof was only plywood and the electrics and plumbing put in ran to nowhere. The brickwork was not even straight and the footings were too high. The reason why they walked off the job is instead of using insulation and hardcore they just threw any old junk including planks of wood for the floor. The planning officer caught them halfway through concreting over it and had a row with them. I was told by the planning department I could also be held liable for allowing them to contravene the building regulations! I asked them why they never told me what was happening and was told they do not get involved with such things and their only job is to ensure that the work is done within regulations. The builders took £14,500 of our money and called to threaten us if we did not pay a further £4000. They also refused to return the key for our gate to get into the back. I called the police and never heard from them again. Our livingroom was left open to the elements and scaffolding was holding up the steel beam and the place was a mess. I got a good builder in and it was discovered that none of the walls were even, masonry fell and there was no insulation in the walls. Plus one wall had to be partially redone as it was moving back and forth. In total, it cost us another £15,000 to redo this when the whole thing should have cost £23,000. We traced them and found that the original person we were in contact with has a legitimate business and he was working in partnership with the cowboy. But, it was presented to us that they were in business together as so-called brothers and the contract we did and all dealings were with the legitimate partner. He later tried to say he only introduced us and had no dealings with it, but we have evidence that he was just as involved. He told us he does the tiling and decorating and his brother does the building side of things. The one who does not have a legitimate business was using 3 different addresses and I contacted the insurance company he had. They refused to take any responsibility. I contacted Trading Standards and was told they can record it, but unless they get at least 5 similar complaints against the same company they cannot take them to court. They also said that even if I did take them to court and won I would most likely not be able to collect any money. Shortly after all this I became very ill and nearly lost my life. It took a year to recover and now I am thinking of seeing what I can do. I know that the one brother has moved and is still in business. Can anyone give me some advice about the possibility of suing and was I told the correct information from Trading Standards? I am unable to seek legal advice as I cannot afford and cannot get legal aid.
Hi, A builder/gardener did a job for us early 2013. The workmanship and meteials used was very poor. A job that was supposed to take 14-16 days took 2.5 months and still not finished before he walk off the job. After a few letters, etc we threatened to take him to the small claims court. He said he had replied to my last letter and should get it after a few days. After not receiving anything in the post, i emailed him and found that he had closed both his emails account down, changed his mobile number. Went to his address and found he had moved. I had tracked him down to another address but i am not 100% sure he is living there eventhough it showed in the electoral register that he is there. Is this enough for me to send the court summons to this address? I had read on the internet that i do not have to know for certain that he is living there, as long as i have "reasonable belief" he is there. Is this correct? would be grateful to hear from people who had experience of this or anyone who know where i stand legally? Thanks.
Hi All, New on here, but need your help already! Have you had a bad experience with a Builder who is based in the Basingstoke/Hampshire borders area? I can't be more specific for obvious reasons, but suffice to say I have had a very, VERY bad experience with a builder who is based in that area, although he has also worked in other areas of the country too, often in cahoots with a plumber who is also somewhat suspect in his workmanship. For it to be taken seriously by the authorities and something be done about him, I need to try and find others who've been a victim of his shoddy workmanship and the fraudulent acquisition of their money. There's a world of difference between a one off contract gone bad and a pattern of behaviour going back years where his guilt is clear and unequivocal. I've been left with a home that is far from finished and have lost A LOT of money that I couldn't afford to lose and cannot do without. If you've had problems can you post or message me please? I hope against hope that with a bit of group effort we could stop this guy, and if along the way we manage to stop a few others and link up cases it's all to the good! Strikes me that there is a real need for a specific bad builder forum/site or confidential helpline reporting service where victims of bad building can convene at a central point and join the dots to others ripped off by the same firm/person. From what I've seen so far in trying to get help and support (and there is precious little out there unless you've got very deep pockets), everyone wants to know about other cases, but the means of finding those other cases is severely limited unless you turn private eye... but last I heard, stalking someone is not an entirely legal pastime! Bottom line, it seems Trading Standards seem to no longer have the manpower or resources to fully investigate cases from scratch and make the required links between them because of budget cuts, and the crime rate just keeps on rising. Those in a position to offer help and support only get excited if you can hand them everything on a plate, documented and evidenced, tied up with a bow and sealed with a kiss. This puts the onus of being a detective onto the homeowner...bizarre, but true. My one consolation through the frustration of trying to find other victims over the last few months, (without resorting to a public post on a forum), is the belief that leopards don't change their spots, and if a builder is prepared to rip off one person in such a detrimental and far reaching way, it's a pretty safe bet he's done it to other people. I just can't find them... Please help if you can, and in doing so perhaps it will help you with your case too. Thank you Donebybuilder PS.I don't expect anyone to post names etc on the forum, I wouldn't do that either! My forlorn hope was that if someone did have something to share, that this would be a means of making initial contact with eachother. I figured the details would happen either by private message or off the site completely. I don't want to get anyone (or myself) into trouble...but I am desperate. He has left us in a very big mess that without help, we can't fix...