A homeowner in Harrow paid a builder almost £100,000 for a project but was left £70k out of pocket after the property was left with unstable foundations.
The job at a property in Harrow was left unfinished and poorly executed by Robert Rickard, 30, who has been ordered to pay £27,000 in compensation. He was also disqualified from being a director of a company for 10 years, given a 6-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
Rickard traded through RR Groundworks and Construction LTD (now liquidated) and was contracted for building works in Harrow for a renovation that included new windows and a repositioned wall. This works, if undertaken correctly, would have turned the property into a dream home for the owner.
In what turned into a nightmare situation, the property was left in a dire state and the project has been described as a “shocking case where the homeowner has had to live through the trauma of being lied to”. The nightmare continued to worsen when Building Control deemed the foundation of the home unsafe with no support to hold the first floor, requiring the stairs to be removed.
An investigation by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards uncovered that for over a year, the victim and family had to endure the ongoing issues of work not being carried out and a constant stream of requests for money.
Cllr Anjana Patel, Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety said: “This is a shocking case where the homeowner has had to live through the trauma of being lied to, demands for upfront payments and work that was so poor that Building Control had to intervene. We are not talking about small sums of money here, this was money they had saved over a period of time – and to fix the mess Rickard left behind they had to spend more money.
“It’s the job of our Trading Standards officers to protect consumers and I am glad they stepped in and brought the law onto Rickard so that he cannot do the same to anyone else.”
Rickard was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months at Harrow Crown Court, on 21 September.
The Judge ordered 150 hours of unpaid work to be completed in 1 year and Mr Rickard to pay £27,000 in compensation within 3 years. The Judge also disqualified Mr Rickard from being a company director for up to 10 years.