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Construction: Standards

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform under what legislation prosecutions can be brought against (a) incompetent builders and (b) rogue traders; what changes have been made to each since enactment; whether further changes are planned; and if he will make a statement. (207193)

Action can be taken by the Office of Fair Trading and trading standards against traders who mislead consumers, or use aggressive sales practices, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, or part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002. Changes to legislation since enactment can be found through the UK Statute Law Database at:

www.statutelaw.gov.uk/

Civil action can be taken against builders who have not carried out their contract with due care and skill by the person who has contracted for their services, under the Sale of Goods and Services Act 1982.

The Sale of Goods and Services Act falls within the scope of our current review of the consumer law regime. We are inviting views on the legislation, the way it is enforced and empowerment and redress for consumers. Views have been invited by 31 July 2008, the document is available at:

http://www.berr.gov.uk./files/file45196.pdf

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many complaints were made to (a) each local authority trading standards office and (b) his Department about (i) incompetent builders and (ii) rogue traders in each of the last five years. (207195)

BERR do not keep records of complaints made to local authorities or maintain a database of complaints about traders.

Consumer Direct is a Government backed telephone and online advice service managed by the Office of Fair Trading. It provides first stage practical advice on a broad range of consumer issues. It has been fully operational across Great Britain since October 2006.

Over the first three years of operation, Consumer Direct recorded the following number of complaints.

Total number complaints

Of which: related to general building work

2005

399,217

8,878

2006

695,463

15,355

2007

829,275

15,918