Cowboy Builder Ordered to Pay Thousands in Compensation
A cowboy builder has been ordered to pay £15,000 compensation to customers following an investigation by South Tyneside Council.
Matthew Talbot, trading as Talbuild & Decorating, failed to complete agreed home renovations or carry them out to a satisfactory standard.
In July 2022, the council's Trading Standards department started to receive complaints from numerous residents, who had paid Talbot money for botched or incomplete works to roofs, walls and drains - and then had to pay other tradespeople to rectify the jobs.
Quotes, invoices and contracts provided by Talbot to the complainants did not properly identify the trading entity as required. On some occasions his paperwork provided two different business names on a single document.
In South Shields Magistrates Court last week, Talbot pleaded guilty to two counts of offences of operating unfair commercial practices under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, relating to works at two separate properties. He also pleaded guilty to two counts in relation to failing to provide appropriate information under the Companies Act 2006.
Cllr Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: "This rogue trader behaved appallingly towards his customers. They paid him their hard-earned money for what they thought would work of a high standard and carried out in a professional manner. Unfortunately, they got neither.
"I am pleased that the hard work of our Trading Standards department has resulted in this successful prosecution and compensation for our residents."
Talbot was given a 12 month Conditional Discharge. He was ordered to pay compensation of £10,000 to one household and £5,000 to another. He was also ordered to pay £5,000 towards prosecution costs.