In response to the rise in the number of building fraud claims across the South West, a week-long campaign aims to raise awareness among homeowners.
Starting on Monday, 25 April 2022, the joint initiative between Trading Standards South West (TSSW) and the 11 South West local authority Trading Standards services it represents will highlight the issue and provide homeowners with advice and guidance.
Last year, Trading Standards saw increased complaints relating to all types of building work across the region – from roofing projects to home extensions and major renovations, with the highest value claim worth over £420,000.
Rogue builders use a range of tactics to trick homeowners into using them. The latest methods include fake online reviews, posting on social media sites and advertising on non-verified online platforms. Charging upfront and asking for more money for apparently increased material costs were also common complaints put to Trading Standards.
[Spokesperson] from [X] said: “It is not surprising that the upward trend in home improvements since the pandemic has led to increased activity by rogue builders. Despite many complainants having done some due diligence before instructing works, this was not sufficient to protect them from the fraudsters.
“We hope that by raising awareness of building fraud, we will educate consumers, give them the confidence to make the right decisions and make it more difficult for fraudsters to operate. If any homeowner has concerns about a builder or tradesperson, they should always seek advice before agreeing to or paying for work.”
The awareness week will highlight the warning signs, show homeowners how to find a reputable builder, and advise what to do when things go wrong.
For more information on the week of action, advice documents and useful links, visit www.tssw.org.uk/consumers/building-fraud.