What are my rights if the job was done as a ‘foreigner’

‘Doing a foreigner’ is what tradesmen call a job which is done ‘on the side’ and usually for cash in hand. Previously it was a bit of a loophole in the law, excluding tradesmen from any liability if the consumer wasn’t happy with their work. However, it is generally the case nowadays that you would expect the same rights with regard to care and skill, timescale and cost, as if you had the work done legitimately. The best policy is to ensure the individual you are hiring is aware of his responsibilities at the outset, if he does a runner you’ve probably got off lightly!

How can I resolve the situation?

What about contracts for services?

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4 comments… add one
  • Robin Ward 22 October, 10:01 am

    I had 6 windows installed by Aglian home improvements in 2009 along with a complete roofline installation, facias, soffits gutters etc.
    During the final stages of the roofline installation the fitters involved told me that they could not progress the work and finish the roofline installation as there was a problem withe the security of the gable end roof tiles as they had been nailed to the facia and needed to be removed and remedial works carried out to secure the tiles to the roof battens and repoint the gable ends.
    They said that this would be extra work taking about one to one and a half days. I said that this should have been shown on the survey and costed in but I was told that the job was now halted until I either got another building Co. to sort it out and they would leave the job with the gable ends exposed to the elements until this work was completed or they could do it for me for an extra £650 cash.
    They had me over a barrel and so with the full knowledge of the Anglian supervisor I agreed as I wanted the job d
    finished before any wet weather. The rip off was that they completed the “extra work” and finished the whole installation that same afternoon, I had been truly stiched up and no matter of complaining to Anglian has produced any compensation as they said that it was work carried out as a private treaty. This was condoned by Anglian senior management, Where do I stand?

  • David Ferguson 8 August, 3:07 pm

    Am having exterior instillation done on my house free by SSE
    Contractors left a 2 foot square for has flue to be extended and after they had harled the rest of the outside came back to fill in the rest but proceeded to put rockwoll on it then harle on top surely this is not right come someone clarify for me please

  • Rebecca 14 August, 6:56 pm

    Had a conservatory roof changed from poly carb to a slate, 2yrs ago, it’s leaked from day one. Builder won’t return calls or texts.
    Anyone know what I can do?

  • Nicola 3 November, 9:35 am

    Can you help?

    Our builder has stretched out the job way longer than it should of gone on. And now he has had a stroke. Where do we stand! There is not much money left in the pot and pretty looks like we will need to get someone in to finish off the job as we have a massive hole in our living room.