A contractor who left a flat uninhabitable after receiving more than £10,000 has been prosecuting by Suffolk Tradsing Standards.
Sandra Liptrott, of Green Lane, Stowmarket, director of WBS Contractors, pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay back £11,247.11 to the victim over a 12-month period, along with costs of £4,700.
Liptrott, 63, was charged with committing a misleading action and contravening the requirements of professional diligence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Suffolk Trading Standards brought the case to court after receiving a call from the victim alleging WBS Contractors had been paid £10,686.66 towards a contract total of £13,740 for internal building work in her one-bedroom flat in Newmarket.
The victim claimed the value of the work, which began in October 2015, was considerably less than the amount paid and meant they had to move out and rent elsewhere.
In December 2015, the victim notified Liptrott of her concerns about the lack of work completed and materials supplied based on their payment.
They were later notified WBS Contractors could not continue with the project and informed the victim they would be notified of the costs for the works completed and the difference would be reimbursed.
No money was ever paid back to the victim – despite inspections valuing the work completed at £2,200. When interviewed, Liptrott said all of the money from the victim had been paid into her personal account.
Lee Nunn, Suffolk Trading Standards Officer, said: “It is not the first time the Liptrott family have carried out unsafe building work with David Liptrott, Sandra’s husband, being prosecuted for similar charges in July 2015 following a joint investigation with HSE.
“This case is proof that rogue traders will be investigated by Suffolk Trading Standards and that the court will make significant financial penalties on those found guilty
“We would also like to remind customers that they should always shop around for a reputable trader, using websites such as Checkatrade (www.checkatrade.com) to make an informed decision on who they get to carry out work on their property for them.”
Anyone with a concern about a trader should call Suffolk Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.