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Updates from Citizens Advice Swale July 2024

By Citizens Advice Newington Parish Council

Thursday, 4 July 2024

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What can you do if a tradesperson doesn't carry out work to the expected standard? Can you challenge it?

It’s always frustrating when you run into problems with home improvements.

If you consider a job unfinished or unsafe, you should be able to get the tradesperson to come back to fix it. If the tradesperson considers the work complete, it’s worth knowing you’re protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which says they should’ve completed the work with ‘reasonable care and skill’. If they haven’t done this, they’ve broken the law. The Act means you’re legally entitled to ask the tradesperson to fix the problem (if they provided the materials as well as the service) or get money refunded (if they just provided the service and you bought the materials).

They should fix the problem or refund you in a reasonable amount of time, without causing too much inconvenience. If you’ve received the invoice for the work but not paid yet, you can ask them to fix the issue or you can negotiate a lower price for the work.

Let the tradesperson know you understand what you’re entitled to. Speak to them in person, or contact them in writing/over email. There are template letters on the Citizens Advice website (citizensadvice.org.uk).

Make sure you have a written copy of anything agreed. Before you contact them, it’s a good idea to take photographs to use as evidence of the problem. Make notes about what happened, including dates and times. You should also gather any paperwork and receipts, including prior written agreements. If the final cost wasn’t in line with estimates or quotes given to you at the outset of the work, there is advice on the Citizens Advice website about steps you can take.

If you’re struggling to come to an agreement with a tradesperson, there are other steps you can take to solve your problem including using ‘alternative dispute resolution’, which is a way of solving disagreements without going to court. You can find out more on the Citizens Advice website.

If you’d like support dealing with consumer issues, or for for general advice, we run drop-in sessions which you can attend without an appointment:

  • Monday 10am-12pm, Swale House, Sittingbourne
  • Tuesday 10am-12pm, Sheppey Gateway, Sheerness (except the second Tuesday of every month, which is held at Sheerness East Working Mens Club)
  • Wednesday & Friday 10am-12pm, 43 Stone Street, Faversham

Alternatively, email us at www.citizensadviceswale.uk/email-general-advice (Monday-Wednesday) or call Adviceline on freephone 0808 278 7979

For debt advice:

Request a call back from our specialist debt team at www.citizensadviceswale.uk/debt/

Contact Information

Citizens Advice

  • 0808 278 7979

Find Newington Parish Council

Newington, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 7JJ

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