What to do when you have paid a builder but the work wasn’t done?
Disputes involving builders who have been paid but haven’t done work highlights the need not to pay builders or anyone with cash. There usually seems to be a lack of protection given when paying with cash.When paying with your credit cards or debit cards there is incredibly much more protection for homeowners who have paid builders although paying via bank transfer offers very limited protection.
So your best bet when dealing with tradesmen is to pay them on completion of the work and via a credit or debit card.
Getting your money back through your card provider
Credit and debit cards offer some protection in the case you pay a builder for work and they do not then deliver the work. There is more protection with credit cards through section 75 of the consumer credit act.
With this, you can make a genuine claim to get your money back through your credit card provider if you have paid a builder for work and this work hasn’t been done.
Your debit cards will have less protection but most debit card providers will offer a refund guarantee if you have been scammed out of your money.
Getting your money back through the courts
If you cannot pay them via a credit and debit card then it is essential you see some identification documents from them such as a drivers license.
Ensure you take down their details, this means their names, date of birth and full address. You may need these details if you have to take them to the small claims court or file a country court judgement against them for money they owe you.
No matter what you do, when working with third parties it is important you have some agreement in writing so you can use this as the basis of your claims.
In some cases the tradesmen may be signed up to trade bodies who you can take your claim to if you have paid the builder and the work has not been done. This is always an easier and cheaper step than going to the courts.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.