Storm Arwen in South Tyneside: Warning over rogue traders as many face major home repairs

South Tynesiders are being warned to be on their guard against rogue traders looking to exploit the damage caused by Storm Arwen.

Now the council’s Trading Standards team is urging people to be alert as they often see an rise in the number of complaints about suspected rogue traders attempting to scam residents.

This can see situations where householders are offered a low price for jobs such as roof repairs before prices quickly increased and residents often pressurised into paying for more work than is actually necessary.

Storm Arwen aftermath at Heaton Gardens, Benton Road, Whiteleas.

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Cllr Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “Sadly, after the disruption caused by the storm, some unscrupulous people will be trying to take advantage of the situation.

“I would urge people not to feel pressured to agree to work on the doorstep and remind them that they have a 14 day cooling off period in which they can change their mind. Anyone who doesn’t tell people this is breaking the law.

“Remember It’s your home – you don’t have to let anyone in. A genuine tradesperson will understand this. You have the right to ask all other unwanted callers to go away and not to return”.

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Residents are reminded that they can search for reputable tradespeople in the Business Approval Register. Businesses listed have undergone certain background checks, so that consumers can have confidence when searching for tradespeople. To ask for a list visit www.businessapprovalregister.com or call 0333 920 2128.

And if a cold caller becomes aggressive, residents are advised to call the police immediately on 999.

To report incidents of this type in South Tyneside or to order a No Cold Calling card for a door or window, please contact Trading Standards at [email protected] or call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 2231133.