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If a trader’s work isn’t up to scratch

Whether you want a new ceiling light fitted or a two-storey extension built, you should be able to expect a good job for the price agreed. But what if the workmanship is poor? The building work doesn’t match the specification? Snagging problems aren’t fixed? Builders walk away part-way through the job? Or costs get hiked up unexpectedly? Disputes over things like this can be tricky to resolve.

You’re protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015

The law gives you the right to have the job carried out with reasonable care and skill. This applies to all traders, including builders, plumbers, roofers, decorators and electricians. If you’re unhappy, it’s usually best to give the trader the chance to put things right. But if they refuse, you may be able to claim the cost of a contractor coming in to fix the problem.  

Which? we can help

Our team of experts is standing by to advise you on all sorts of problems with home improvement work, from installing solar panels to fitting a new kitchen. We can send you letter templates to help you word a complaint. We’ll also explain your legal rights and the steps you can take to pursue them. These include claiming against a warranty, escalating your complaint to a trade association or, ultimately, taking your dispute to the small claims court. We’ll:

  • listen to the problem and explain what should expect from the trader
  • advise you whether there’s been a breach of your rights
  • explain what action you can take and guide you through the process





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Meet your experts
Lawyer Profile Picture 360 360 Sophie Jones Sophie joined Which? in June 2015 specialising in landlord and tenancy as well as other areas. See profile
Adrian Schwab Sq Adrian Schwab Adrian joined Which? Legal in June 2017 as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Adrian received his Bachelor in Law degree from the Holborn Law School in 2006.
Catherine Hudson 360X360 Catherine Hudson Catherine is an expert in landlord and tenant law, having worked for a housing charity as a Caseworker for 15 years. See profile
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