Rogue trader leaves church with £20k repairs bill

The infected timbers. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

By Kris Jepson

Blaydon Trinity Methodist Church has been left with a £20,000 bill to repair “substandard” dry rot treatment by a rogue trader.

In 2013, the church went to RatedPeople.com to find a local trader who could deal with a problem it had in the church hall. Dry rot and mould had taken over a section of the wooden floor. The infected timbers needed to be removed to prevent the mould from spreading throughout the hall.

The website produced a list of possible companies. One was called APM Construction. An invoice was written up and the church paid nearly £5,000 for the rot to be “treated" and “eradicated", but the problem continued to blight the church.

After several callouts via APM’s 10-year warranty, the church got a second opinion just before Christmas last year. They were quoted a whopping £20,000 because the dry rot and mould had spread since APM’s original work.

Deacon Tracey Hume explains:

ITV News Tyne Tees sent in a member of the Property Care Association, the industry regulator, to inspect APM’s work. In his report, Neil Marsden, said several of the timbers hadn’t been “industrially pre-treated at all” and that there was “no evidence” of control measures to isolate the mould growth.

He reported that the “attempted treatment” is “severely substandard” and that it failed in “controlling the dry rot outbreak in any way”. He concluded that the company “broke the most basic rules. I would really say the company don’t have any experience, or very little experience of treating dry rot”.

Some of the infected timbers. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

We tried to locate APM Construction but the email addresses and phone numbers for the company have been disconnected.

We contacted RatedPeople.com and a spokesperson told us: