We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Trader issues
we know your rights
  • Clear advice from experts you can trust
  • No hidden costs, fixed monthly or annual fee
  • No cap on calls

Your consumer rights with a trader

Whether you’re having a new kitchen fitted, a conservatory built or a new boiler installed, the law gives you the right to have the job carried out with reasonable care and skill.

If the job isn’t up to scratch, 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 third party coming in and fixing the problem.  

Dealing with trader delays

In most cases, you will agree on a start and/or completion date with the trader or a trader may give you their standard terms, which will probably set out the time frames for finishing the work.  

Even if you haven’t agreed on a start or finish date, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the trader must carry out the service ‘within a reasonable time’.

Knowing what is considered reasonable when faced with delays or interruptions to a job is difficult. So, if work is dragging on, you haven’t seen the contractors or trader for weeks or they keep disappearing to carry out work elsewhere, we can help.

Which? Legal can help

Our specialist advisers can answer all your consumer rights questions about employing traders to provide a service and provide legal advice on how to solve problems when things go wrong. This includes what to do when:

  • the work is late starting or over-runs the agreed completion date
  • the work is of poor quality or hasn’t been done
  • the final bill for the work is much higher than estimated or agreed
  • your property or belongings are damaged by the trader
  • you’re left with a large pile of rubbish cluttering up your garden, drive or, worse, the pavement outside your house
  • you need to take your dispute to the small claims court

The Which? Legal specialist advisers can give you expert legal advice that can help you to resolve home improvement disputes.

Join now call
Monday - Friday 8.30am - 6pm (excluding bank holidays in England & Wales)
Monthly
As much advice as you need as long as you need £9 per month plus a £29 one-off joining fee (cancel anytime)
  • Access our experts in consumer law, travel, motoring, landlords & tenancy, wills & probate and more
  • Get clear guidance on your next steps from experts you can trust
  • Unlimited calls – speak with us as often as you need
  • Cover for your whole household
Annual
Save £38 vs monthly
Our best value advice and peace of mind cover £99 per year £8.25 monthly equivalent
  • Access our experts in consumer law, travel, motoring, landlords & tenancy, wills & probate and more
  • Get clear guidance on your next steps from experts you can trust
  • Unlimited calls – speak with us as often as you need
  • Cover for your whole household
Meet your experts
Ian Hawkins Ian began advising in the legal expenses industry and joined the Which? Legal team in 2016. Ian focuses on providing practical consumer law advice that our members can apply in the most effective way possible. See profile
Evgeni Hristov Evgeni joined Which? Legal in December 2017 as a consumer law adviser. Evgeni graduated law at the University of the West of England in 2014. See profile
Sanchia Pereira Sanchia joined Which? Legal in September 2018 and is a qualified solicitor. Sanchia has worked in private practice, specialising in criminal litigation. See profile