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Press Release

Rogue trader prosecuted for overcharging and substandard work

15 June 2017

A local trader who over-charged and carried out shoddy work on a local resident’s property has been convicted under consumer protection legislation. He was ordered to pay compensation of £3,000 to his victim.

Rogue trader prosecuted for overcharging and substandard work

In September 2015, Kristian Phillip Lee of Heol Dal Y Cappa, Llansamlet, Swansea was commissioned by the consumer, whose son is confined mainly to a wheelchair, to construct a wall, steps and ramp in the garden; to level the patio; lay slabs and raise a fence.

No cancellation rights or contract were given.

Despite being paid a total of £4000 in the September of that year when the work was commissioned, progress was very slow. Lee often failed to turn up at the property and as a consequence three of the four cubic metres of ready mixed concrete ordered by Lee had to be disposed of. The consumer also had to pay for skips to remove the rubbish that had been generated.

Lee had been paid £9,550 excluding VAT by the time he said that he had completed the work in early 2016 and asked for a final payment of £700. Despite this, the work was not finished, and the work that had been completed was of poor quality or was not as specified in the contract.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Trading Standards team were called, who then commissioned a quantity surveyor to assess the work.

The surveyor advised that the works should have cost between £4,500 and £5,000 plus VAT and should have taken 10 to 14 days.

The surveyor also commented that there was little value in the work done, that the quality of work that had been carried out was poor and that the consumer’s property had been damaged in the process.

Mr. Lee attended court on the 7th June 2017 where he pleaded guilty to four charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The Court imposed no fine, but ordered him to pay compensation of £3,000 and total costs of £600.

Cllr Des Davies, Neath Port Talbot Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection, said:

“I want to remind residents to be vigilant of these crimes and scams to avoid becoming a victim of a rogue trader. I would urge residents to do their research on a business before entering into an agreement and to be cautious when paying money upfront.”

“For work carried out at a resident’s home that is more than £42 in value, traders are required by law to provide cancellation rights. This gives 14 days for contracts to be cancelled.”

“Under the regulations, traders are required to exercise professional diligence in the work they carry out. Particularly bad workmanship or work not as described will be investigated by the Trading Standards team.”

Homeowners and businesses who believe they have been a victim of this type of scam can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040 506.