Homeowners to Benefit from New Consumer Rights Bill

Friday, 05 July 2013

A new consumer rights bill unveiled by Consumer Minister Jo Swinson is expected to give homeowners some welcome protection against shady tradesmen - and also boost the UK economy by a cool £4 billion.

According to Lib Dem research, consumers currently spend more than 59 million hours a year dealing with goods and services problems. The new proposals will merge eight pieces of legislation into one all-encompassing Consumer Rights Bill, as well as introducing new rights for property owners, consumers and businesses.

Under the new proposals, homeowners would have the legal right to take traders to court if work is not carried out properly, and force them to come back and put things right.

One of the examples cited in the bill relates to a scenario where a homeowner has decided to have a bathroom refurbished. It suggests that complications may crop up - for example, debris being left in other areas of the house or disruptions to the water supply - leaving the homeowner with a botched job.

The new measures are designed to help in situations like these. A statement from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says: “Under the new Consumer Rights Bill, you can require the builders to make good the problems, if they can do so within a reasonable time, or get a price reduction or refund.”

Commenting on the proposals, Which? Executive Director, Richard Lloyd, says: “The new Bill of Rights will bring consumer law into the twenty-first century at last, making it easier for everyone to know their rights and giving people more power to challenge bad practices.”

Considering the positive reception that has met the bill, it seems likely that it will be turned into real legislation, but homeowners should still be sure to protect themselves with a home insurance policy for long-term peace of mind.

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