A builder from Skipton has been convicted by magistrates after pleading guilty to three offences in a prosecution brought by North Yorkshire Council.
Daly John Thompson, of Sun Moor Drive, who trades as Daly Thompson Builders and Joiners, was fined at York Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (25th May) after admitting three offences of unfair trading.
He must now pay fines totalling £2,214 and costs of £1,410. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £8,072.30 and a victim surcharge of £221.
North Yorkshire Council’s trading standards service began an investigation into Mr Thompson’s firm after receiving a complaint from a Harrogate resident who had employed him to build a ground floor extension.
Mr Thompson was paid £3,072.30 to buy two rooflights, but he failed to do so despite telling the consumer that they would be delivered on two different dates.
He also told the householder that he had installed a sleeper wall under floor joists in the extension, although a surveyor confirmed that no such wall was in place. The sleeper wall was a requirement of building regulations to ensure the structural integrity of the extension, meaning the floor fitted by Mr Thompson had to be removed so another builder could carry out remedial work.
Mr Thompson told the investigating officer he had thought the sleeper wall was not required and that he had not bought the rooflights because material costs on the job were dramatically increasing.
Two of the charges related to failings with the sleeper wall, the other over the roof lights.
During sentencing, the chair of the bench Peter Worth said: “You have admitted you left the job in a sub-standard condition... quite a damning report for a builder with 20-plus years of experience.”
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for trading standards, Cllr Greg White, said: “Householders should be able to trust contractors they employ to safeguard any monies paid to them for materials and to complete the job in line with the specification and any Building Regulations or other safety requirements.
“Whilst it is understandable that contractors are finding the increasing costs of building materials difficult to manage, consumers are entitled to rely on the quotation they have been given and any contract agreed.
“I would urge any tradesperson to be upfront with customers about any difficulties at the earliest opportunity.”
The Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline is the national reporting centre for consumers who need advice or would like to report concerns about building works to trading standards.
The service can be contacted on 0808 223 1133 or via its website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer