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We had to get our skylight repaired because it started leaking during the first lockdown in 2020. We found a recommended roofing company on Facebook with positive reviews and hired them.
We paid the full £1,500 amount owed and we thought that was that.
Two weeks later, three more leaks started to appear so we called the company back to fix it again. It sent out two guys who filled in the cracks but when this also failed to fix the leaks, it rang alarm bells.
We told the roofer it was still leaking, but it simply blamed the external wall as the real cause of the issue.
After weeks of back and forth over text the damage remained unresolved, we asked the roofer for their insurance details but they became aggressive.
Since then all communication has broken down. They only respond when threatened with legal action, which we’ve sadly had to do.
Since the court case we’ve also learnt that the company was misusing the Confederation of Roofing Contractors logo on it’s correspondence, and isn’t legitimately associated with it, we now feel we were misled into hiring the company for the work.
We have a County Court Judgement against the roofer but it can’t be enforced due to Covid restrictions, what can we do?
Anonymous, 25 from Beckenham.
Put to rights
Luke Jeffery, Consumer Rights expert at Which? Says: Our homes are our castles, especially during the last year of coronavirus lockdowns, so I’m sorry to hear yours has been left in a state of disrepair for so long.
It’s bad enough you felt going through the courts is your only option, but to now hit one final obstacle to getting your money back is extremely frustrating.
When you hire a tradesperson you are usually protected by the Consumer Rights Act. They are supposed to carry out the work agreed with reasonable care and skill and certainly not leave you in a worse position than you started in. If they fail to put it right or give you a refund you can escalate your case.
You went to court and have had a County Court Judgement (CCJ) handed down against the roofing firm.
Typically a CCJ gives the defendant, in the case the roofing firm, one month to repay the debt unless the court orders for the repayments to be made in instalments.
If it doesn’t pay the debt within the time frame set by the order, the judgement stays on its credit record for 6 years. If a payment isn’t made, you can choose to use bailiffs to recover the money but this usually requires a further application to the court for a warrant.
Government guidance says that contact should be made between bailiffs and defendants before a visit to residential properties, for commercial properties, bailiffs must comply with social distancing rules set out by the owners. If no contact has been made, progress is likely to be slow.
Covid restrictions should not affect the recovery of your money as there are multiple ways to enforce a CCJ that don’t involve contact such as winding up and charging orders or an attachment of earnings.
Join the conversation Why rogue roofers are an ongoing concern
Misuse of official logos
You also told us that you believe the roofer is deliberately misusing the Confederation of Roofing Contractors (CORC) logo. Being an approved member of a trade association like the CORC comes with benefits like insurance guarantees, giving customers protection should things go wrong and an assumption of quality workmanship.
Using an official logo matters as it’s likely to influence your decision to hire one trader over another.
If a trader is pretending to be a member of an official body and it influences your decision to hire the trader, it’s probably breaking the law.
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations bans businesses and traders from displaying any form of logo or trust mark when they are not allowed to do so.
I’ve spoken to the Confederation of Roofing Contractors about your specific tradesman and provided them with your evidence of logo misuse. CORC have since blacklisted the company from affiliation with the CORC and the case has been referred to Trading Standards.
The roofing company in question could not be reached for comment. Although this doesn’t help you get your money back immediately I hope your story helps others understand their rights and avoid rogue traders.
The trader’s name and trading name have been kept private at the request of the sender.
What is the Confederation of Roofing Contractors?
CORC members are required to comply with a code of practice that covers important aspects of hiring a trader such as estimates, deposits, quality of work and resolving any complaints.
It also provides an insurance back up for guarantees should the roofer you choose cease trading.
Need to know
Get in touch. If you have a consumer rights problem you need put right then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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