Woman loses £80,000 as cowboy builder crimes rapidly increase

Watch what happened when ITV News' Rupert Evelyn tracked down one alleged cowboy builder.

The number of botched and unfinished building jobs is rising fast according to figures seen by ITV News.

The scourge of so-called ‘cowboy builders’ has led to a 25% increase in “doorstep crime’ as it’s known and worryingly it’s expected to rise even more.

Millions of pounds is lost as builders take the money but fail to finish the job.

Amanda Barnett has given more than £20,000 to one builder and £60,000 to another and is left with no idea if her stables and home attached to it will ever be completed. 

In tears as she spoke to ITV News, she said: “Just don’t give them any money. I don’t understand the mentality of [cowboy builders] it just totally mystifies me.”

We managed to track down one of Amanda’s builders, Kevin Moseley, who has taken more than £20,000 off her.

Kevin Moseley denied taking more than £20,000 off Amanda Barnett and failing to supply building services. Credit: ITV News

He initially claimed he “didn’t owe money to anybody” and then claimed Amanda Barnett “tried to do an illegal build”. He told us we should check with the authorities, so we did. 

There’s no evidence of an illegal build.

But what we did find was Kevin Moseley’s history.

He was given a 10-year bankruptcy order in 2010 for taking deposits and failing to supply services.

Different builders but similar issues can be found across the country.

In Leeds, we met a family living in yet another abandoned project. Builders have vanished, the new ones don’t want the responsibility of clearing up the mess and costs are spiralling.

Khalid and Sian Harrison-Morton told us: "It’s really rough, [the builders] have taken no responsibility, no ownership at all”.

Katherine Hart is head of doorstep crime at the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards.

She says people need to be “very cautious” when using “review websites” and make sure they look for one that has been trusted and vetted by the local authority. She also advises to “be patient”.

It’s better to wait for the good builder rather than rush and get the dodgy one

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...