Search

Win a £100 Amazon voucher in this week’s Recorder

On sale July 3

Warning as cowboy builders flood Havering to try and cash in on wet weather ‘damage’

12:24 13 February 2014

One vulnerable resident handed over £5,000 to cowboy builders

One vulnerable resident handed over £5,000 to cowboy builders

Archant

Cowboy builders trying to cash in on the ongoing wet weather has triggered a flood of complaints to Havering Council Trading Standards.

If you need repairs due to the wet weather the council recommends:

* Refuse to use anyone who calls at the door uninvited

* Use a firm which is part of the Buy with Confidence scheme as they are approved by Trading Standards

* Get quotes from at least three different firms so you can compare price s and the work they say needs to be done

* If in doubt contact Trading Standards

Council officers have already saved three vulerable residents from handing over tens of thousands of pounds to doorstep traders claiming that roof and gutter repairs were needed in the past week.

But they were too late for one householder who had already paid £5,000 for work worth a fraction of that cost.

Upminster and Cranham are the areas currently being targeted although other parts of the borough could be next.

Typically the rogue trader tells a resident that a gutter is blocked or some roof tiles are missing and quotes a low price to do the repair.

Once the work starts further “damage” is identified with repair costs rapidly escalating.

Often the resident lives on their own, is elderly or otherwise vulnerable and can lose their life savings.

The council has set up a banking protocol which means banks in the borough are alert for customers withdrawing unusually large sums of cash and if it is to pay construction related business alert police and Trading Standards so follow up checks can be made.

Havering Council cabinet member for public protection, Cllr Lesley Kelly, said: “We have seen a sudden surge in the number of residents reporting these rogue traders. We want to flush them out into the open so they get the message they are not welcome in our borough.

“Council officers are working with the police to clamp down on these cowboys and we would urge any resident who is approached to contact us with details, registration numbers of vehicles being used are particularly useful to help identify those responsible.”

One of those targeted by the rogue traders, an 80-year-old woman from Cranham, said: “I am very grateful to the bank police and trading standards as their help stopped me transferring a lot of money to these rogue traders.”

Advice is available from 0845 404 0506 or email trading.standards@havering.gov.uk

More information at www.havering.gov.uk/buywithconfidence

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 13:28
Councillor Mark Logan.

A judicial review will be held into Havering Council’s decision to tax severely disabled people.

Yesterday, 12:58
The winning team the Recorder Reprobates at the pub quiz for First Step

Readers have continued to rally around the Recorder’s Fundraise on the First campaign, raising a fantastic £25,556 so far.

Yesterday, 09:09
Missing: Shaheed Forde-Bryan (Picture: Met Police)

The family of a 14-year-old boy missing from Rainham is “growing increasingly concerned” for his welfare.

Yesterday, 08:51
A serco van. Picture: PA Steve Parsons

A Serco prison custody officer attacked inside Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday has died.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Y6 pupils unpack the rice

A school challenged their pupils to become enterprising individuals as they took on the national 90kg Rice Challenge.

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder