Builder guilty over ‘misleading’ Welwyn Garden City contract

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 February 2011

Archant

A BUILDER has been found guilty of unfair trading after misleading a WGC couple over a £35,500 contract to build their extension.

Roger Preston was convicted of three counts of unfair commercial practices under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, at St Albans Crown court on Friday.

The 51-year-old had been hired by Jennifer Gray and Malcolm Nicholson to build a kitchen, study and garage at their house in Salisbury Road.

Despite being shown architect’s plans for the extension, Preston drew up a written contract which was not explicit as to how much work he would carry out under the agreed fixed price.

He claimed that, among other work, building the garage was not part of the contract.

He then sent a series of invoices charged to the homeowners for work they believed was included in the contract.

Preston, of Waverley Road, Tottenham, was prosecuted by Hertfordshire Trading Standards, and will be sentenced next month.

County councillor Keith Emsall, executive member for community safety, said: “Any contracts should identify the work to be done so it is clear what work is chargeable and what is not.

“Contracts should also identify the parties involved, and the trader should be identified as a limited company, individual or partnership and not simply as just a trading name.”

“If these things are not included in the contract, it leaves the customer in a vulnerable position – which is exactly the kind of situation trading regulations are designed to avoid.”


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