Warning: Rogue Traders Capitalise on Storm Damage

Warning to Residents: Rogue Traders have been capitalising on the impact of recent storms across Kent
brown roof tiles
The three storms that recently hit Kent have highlighted the need for residents to be aware of rogue traders who use this as an opportunity to inflate costs for substandard work.
Example: an elderly gentleman was charged over £3000 for roof repairs that were of a poor standard and took four hours to complete. When he tried to withdraw the cash from his bank, they became concerned and referred the case to me for verification. Working together with KCC Trading Standards, Kent Police, the bank and a reputable builder the work was discredited, and no money was paid. Trading Standards continue to investigate the case.
Choosing a reputable, reliable and trusted tradesman can be difficult particularly if you live alone and the repair is urgent, however keep calm and use the ABC of scam prevention:
never Assume
never Believe
always Confirm
Please consider the following factors:
Is the repair covered by house insurance? If so, report and follow their advice.
  • Discuss the repair with a relative, neighbour or friend and seek personal recommendations. Do not be reluctant to ask for advice.
  • Local and reliable tradesmen often obtain their work through recommendations. It is good business for them to build this trust.
  • Obtain an estimate in writing. Three estimates are recommended however any written estimate is unlikely for an urgent repair.
  • Does the estimate include VAT? If so, the trader must be VAT registered with HMRC. The VAT number should be identified on a written estimate.
  • Avoid cash transactions of large sums of money as it has no audit trail. Most legitimate tradesmen and companies should accept other forms of payment.
  • Do not accept advice from tradesmen randomly calling at your home. Make an appointment with a legitimate tradesman who are always willing to provide free advice and estimates, with no pressure to accept. Do not be reluctant to ask questions no matter how basic.
  • Stay in control of the situation. It is your home, your money and your decision.
KCC Trading Standards Checked are the only traders vetted by Kent Trading Standards. Details are available on-line with Kent residents also receiving an information leaflet. If you do not have Internet access contact Ask a Kent Librarian on 03000 416438 (office hours Monday to Saturday). They will access the Internet and search on your behalf.
If you still feel unsure having considered the above, please contact me for advice. I am unable to recommend specific tradesmen but will listen and provide guidance and support where necessary.
Stay safe and enjoy the Spring and Summer months.

Peter Gill / Kent Community Warden Service – Community Warden/Sandwich, Eastry and Ash.

Public Protection service / Environment Planning and Enforcement / Growth, Environment and Transport |  Mob. 07703454190