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Under-fire builder that left families with half-finished 'garden rooms' goes bust

PUBLISHED: 13:55 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 22 October 2019

Alan Street on his abandoned extension in Hornchurch. Picture: Polly Hancock

Alan Street on his abandoned extension in Hornchurch. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A builders' firm that enraged customers in London and Essex with its botched extension jobs has collapsed.

Essex-based company Hudson Living Ltd went into liquidation in September angering customers whose projects it left unfinished.

But its director and owner Sophie Escrader said she and her husband Chris had been "harassed" by some customers, "including threats of violence".

The couple owned another company, called Hudson Garden Rooms Limited, which went bust last October owing £400,000.

That company and later Hudson Living were paid large sums by customers for "garden rooms" that were left unfinished - and in some cases, with serious structural defects.

Among them was Alan Street, of Hornchurch, who paid £44,000 and was left with an empty timber frame in his back garden after work stopped.

Hudson Living continued much of the work of Hudson Garden Rooms but customers, who are owed money, said they had been unable to get hold of the Escraders since June.

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In a statement from the liquidator, the owners claimed that the only people owed money by Hudson Living were themselves: due a total of £27,592 in loans and "wage arrears".

Ex-clients have reacted with horror and some have asked liquidators Heath Clark to put a stop to the process or put them down as creditors.

One person in Essex, who paid £13,600 for a granny annexe that never materialised, said it was "truly disgusting" the company was allowed to go under.

Mr Street, 36, said he had still not heard back from Trading Standards or Action Fraud about his own case.

He said: "There was no update and we've still got to get this bloody thing rebuilt.

"Everyone who was affected by this liquidation has objected - not necessarily with any hope of getting money but just to make the point.

"It was inevitable that this was going to happen. We're still not going to get any money but there are an awful lot of people who would take an awful lot of comfort from seeing this in court."

A signed declaration by Sophie Escrader included in the liquidator's documents said: "The Director feels that the only way to end this is to liquidate all current companies." The company, it went on to report, had no assets.

Chris and Sophie Escrader have been contacted for comment. The liquidator declined to comment.

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