Islanders need to make sure they follow three golden rules and a set of simple checks before using any building firms to repair any damage to their properties caused by Storm Ciarán.
It follows a number of calls the Jersey Consumer Council has received about using non-Jersey based contractors. However, the below rules and checks should be used for all building firms – local or not.
Firstly, you should not have to pay any business to provide you with a quote. If a firm is insisting on payment up front before even visiting your property, you should see this as a red flag and go elsewhere.
Secondly, do not make any up-front payments to non-Jersey firms, as there will be very little chance of you recovering any monies if the business returns to the UK before starting the work.
The third golden rule is to make sure that you have some kind of contract or written agreement in place before the work starts. This will help cover you in case the work is unsatisfactory or incomplete.
There are some other checks you can do before you engage a building firm to work on your property:
- Try and check if the tradesman has the correct and relevant qualifications and credentials
- Have a contract between you and the tradesman before the work is started. This should give the costs, timelines and if they will provide a warranty
- Make sure of their health and safety procedures
- Try to get some references of previous work
- Try a simple Google check of the builder – websites such as www.checkatrade.com contain lots of reviews on builders.
And to clarify, there is nothing wrong with using off-Island tradesman to undertake emergency repair work as the Government has relaxed the laws to allow off-island contractors to work in Jersey for the next month or so. These tradesmen can only be employed to work on your home if they’ve been contracted by you in advance.
If you have concerns or questions, contact:
Government of Jersey Business Hub on 444444
Trading Standards on 448160
Or, for reports of suspicious activity, the States of Jersey Police on 612612