Nottinghamshire residents are being warned of the dangers of paying traders cash-in-hand without any written agreement by the County Council’s Trading Standards team.
Only having a verbal agreement with a trader doing work around the home places a customer at greater risk of being a victim of shoddy workmanship or unsafe improvements.
A written agreement places them in better position if they need to challenge a trader about the quality of their work or insist they correct any problems. It is also more likely to give the consumer cancellation rights that they are legally entitled to.
Verbal agreements have the potential for dispute about what was actually included in the agreed works and problems can follow if the trader tries to charge extra for work the consumer thought was covered in the original price.
Sarah Houlton from the Council’s Trading Standards team said: “Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous traders who take advantage of people by encouraging them to pay cash-in-hand without putting anything in writing.
“This leaves the customer in a vulnerable position if they are not happy with the work that has been carried out.
“Trading Standards officers are more likely to be able to bring the likes of cowboy builders to justice if the customer has a written agreement that was made before the work started.”
The Council’s Buy with Confidence directory has local 370 traders which have been vetted and approved by local Trading Standards officers. For more information visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or phone Citizen’s Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06.