Sun, 28 Aug, 2016
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OFT: Use a credit card for home improvement

Consumers planning home improvements this summer have been advised on how best to protect their assets if work goes wrong.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) indicates that if an individual is buying goods that cost over 100, they should use a credit card, thus enabling them to claim money through the card provider if the seller fails to honour the contract.

Additionally, paying for the work in staged payments allows customers to hold back some of the money in the event of a renovation disaster, the organisation states.

This way, customers can ask for repairs to be made without going through the courts and claiming compensation.

A final tip offered by the OFT is to ensure that full payment in advance contracts include a full pre-payment protection scheme, which helps cover an individual's money in the event of a fault.

Christine Wade, OFT director of consumer regulation enforcement, said: "It is important for consumers who are asked to pay considerable sums in advance for home improvements to be aware of the ways in which they can protect their interests.

"Going to court can be difficult and expensive, but these simple steps can provide consumers with some redress should things go wrong."

Recent research from the Halifax suggests to home improvers that a loft conversion is the work most likely to add value to a property.