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Has the Beast from the East caused damage to your home or car?

PUBLISHED: 14:14 02 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 02 March 2018

Icicles hang over a car number plate during the big freeze of the 'beast from the east'. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Icicles hang over a car number plate during the big freeze of the 'beast from the east'. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

With freezing temperatures, fierce winds and more snow than anyone could have predicted, the Beast from the East is wreaking havoc on the county. If your home or vehicle has been left needing repairs due to the bad weather, making sure you take the time to find the right trader is extremely important.

Norfolk County Council have shared some advice, to help prevent people from hiring rogue traders or ending up with poor quality repairs.

Here are their top tips:

Never use cold callers who arrive at your property offering to undertake work

Rogue Traders may use bad weather events as an opportunity to try to get householders to agree to them undertaking repairs. These cold callers rarely give householders proper contact details or their legal rights to cancel within 14 days. They may also claim more work is required than actually is to increase their profits and the work they do can often be of poor quality.

Choose reputable traders like a Norfolk Trusted Trader

When looking for a trader to undertake work on your property make sure they are a trader you can trust. This could be a member of the Norfolk Trading Standards Trusted Trader scheme, a business known to you that you’ve used before or by recommendation from a friend or family member. You can search the Norfolk Trusted Trader directory at norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader.

Get three (at least) quotes for the work

Try to get at least three traders to view the issue and provide proper written quotations to undertake the work required. Compare them carefully to help you choose the right trader for the job.

Never pay the full price up front

Good businesses or tradesmen will not require payment until the work is finished to your satisfaction. Some may ask for a percentage to cover materials or specific parts if they are expensive but if the trader is asking for full payment up front don’t contract with them.

Talk to your insurance company first

It’s important to speak to your insurance company before arranging any repairs. The insurance company may require you to use a company approved by them or may want to see quotations before authorising the work and subsequent payment.

• For further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

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