Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Clifton builder receives two community orders for shoddy work

Friday, 24 March 2023

A local builder has been ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty in court to sub-standard work.

Clifton builder receives two community orders for shoddy work - Central Bedfordshire Council Mr Craig Skelton, of Earl Close, Clifton, who previously traded as “365 Property Services Group Ltd, was contracted by a customer to build an extension and carry out a partial renovation of their home in Langford.

Our Trading Standards team was contacted by the customer after Skelton left the job incomplete, and some work carried out was found to be dangerous.

Skelton initially claimed the work would take about 5 months to complete. However, after 11 months a large amount of work was still incomplete, despite the customer having paid £144,000. He then claimed he could not continue with the project without further money. When the customer refused, Skelton left the job leaving the customer with an uninhabitable home and the customer’s family having to live in temporary accommodation.

After getting the work that had been completed checked by surveyors, the customer discovered that beams, lintels, and joists had not been installed correctly leaving some areas of brickwork and flooring inadequately supported and at risk of possible collapse.

The surveyors also commented that other areas of work were unacceptable and partial demolition may be required to make the home fit for living in. They estimated that a further £60,000 would be required to rectify and complete the project.

Skelton also informed the customer that his company had ceased trading with immediate effect, only for a new company, called 365 PSG Ltd., to be formed a few days later.

On 14 March 2023, Skelton attended Luton Crown Court, and pleaded guilty to offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Companies Act 2006.

This included contravening requirements of professional diligence, by failing to carry out work in a manner that was consistent with the standard of special skill and care reasonably expected and engaging in an unfair commercial practice.

In addition, he also pleaded guilty to making an application to voluntarily strike-off his company, which he was not permitted to do because the company had been trading in the previous three months.

He was sentenced to two 12-month community orders consisting of 120 hours of unpaid work, to be served concurrently. He was also ordered to pay £250 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge.

If you have any concerns, or would like to report a trader, please call 0808 223 1133 or email trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

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