15th February 2024

Builder fined for poor quality work

A builder from Wrexham left a homeowner with an unusable bathroom and unfinished repairs.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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A builder from Wrexham has been ordered to pay compensation and fines totalling more than £12,000 after leaving a local homeowner with unfinished repair work and unusable bathroom facilities.

The bathroom was left unfinished and unusable (image credit: Wrexham Council)

Wrexham Council Trading Standards investigated Steven Hughes of Manley Court, Wrexham after a resident complained that work agreed and paid for had not been carried out or had been carried out so badly as to have been worthless.

Hughes had originally obtained the work by responding to a request on Facebook for a minor guttering repair.

When he visited the property he diagnosed problems with its chimneys, which he claimed were at risk of collapse, and also offered to take over the refitting of the bathroom from another contractor whom he claimed was not capable of completing the work.

The homeowner made payments to Hughes totalling more than £4,800, after which he stopped working on the property and the bathroom was never finished.

When subsequently assessed by an independent surveyor, the work was found to be of a very poor standard, incomplete, overpriced, and in need of remedial measures.

The homeowner was ‘subjected to months of stress and disruption’ (image credit: Wrexham Council)

Appearing at Wrexham Magistrates court on February 6, Hughes pleaded guilty to two Trading Standards offences and was ordered to pay compensation of £10,000. He was also fined and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,117.

Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Planning and Public Protection at Wrexham Council, said: “The facts of this case are disturbing. A vulnerable member of our community has been subjected to months of stress and disruption in her own home. She has been overcharged and left without basic facilities by a trader who was unwilling and possibly incapable of carrying out the work he had undertaken to do.

“It is reassuring to see that the court has taken this matter seriously and has used its power to make an award of compensation to the victim that will allow the householder to pay a competent trader for the completion of work to a satisfactory standard. I hope that this case will serve as a deterrent to anyone who is tempted to exploit vulnerable householders”

Roger Mapleson, Trading Standards and Licensing Lead for Wrexham Council said, “I would urge anybody seeking to get work done on their property to think very carefully before seeking recommendations on social media. As well as getting genuine recommendations you are also likely to be targeted by rogue traders who are looking to make a fast buck at your expense.”

 

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