Rogue roofer banned from unfair trading and ordered to repay victims £35,000
James (AKA Jimmy) Slater of Swallow Park near Tolworth, has been banned from continuing to unlawfully trade, ordered to repay his victims £35,520 and council costs of £7,327.
An Interim Enforcement Order under the Enterprise Act 2002 was granted by His Honour Judge Saggerson at the Royal Courts of Justice on 4 January 2019. The Order banned Mr Slater from failing to undertake work with reasonable care and skill, carry out work for which he has been paid for within a reasonable time and not refunding consumers within 14 days of them withdrawing or cancelling their contract. If he breaches the Order, which came into force on 8 May 2019, Mr Slater could face a prison sentence and further fines.
In court, Mr Slater was ordered to pay compensation to 13 of his victims, who helped the council with their investigation following complaints from consumers across the South East of England. Homeowners said Mr Slater had cold called them, taken their money, but either carried out no work or left the work incomplete. Many now have roof and gutter problems and damage to their properties caused by poor workmanship. Other tradesmen supplying him equipment like scaffolding or skip hire have not been paid, leaving homeowners subject to further issues.
Mr Slater has a long history of rogue trading and has operated under a number of names offering roofing and guttering services including JBS Guttering, Response Roofing, Fascia Protection, All Round Plastics, Global Plastics, Property Maintenance, Home Tech Specialists and Traditional Plastics, Clean and Clear Guttering Service, J & L Properties and Slater Roofing. He is well known to Trading Standards, with nearly 100 complaints received by Kingston Council since May 1998. He was previously subject to a banning order in 2001 after action from the Office of Fair Trading that he breached, resulting in him being sent to prison in 2007.
A spokesperson for Kingston Council, said:
“This is an excellent result for our trading standards team. We will continue to use all the options available to us to effectively target rogue traders to protect residents, including seeking compensation for their victims.
“We encourage residents never to do business on their doorstep. If they think work is needed on their property they should get a number of different written quotes from approved trusted trader schemes such as 'Trustmark' or 'Which Trusted Trader' before making any decision.
“If they are being pressured into agreeing to work because they are told it is urgent, they should contact their home insurer in the first instance for an assessment of any emergency repair work that may be needed.”
Anyone becoming aware of Mr Slater continuing to trade unfairly in breach of the court Order is asked to report it to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
Notes to editors
Kingston Council started formal engagement with Mr Slater under the Enterprise Act (EA) 2002 in 20 March 2017 which included monitoring Mr Slater’s trading practices over a period of time.
On 26 July 2017 Mr Slater gave a signed assurance in relation to his trading practices under the EA 2002. During this process the council only received 2 complaints in relation to his works. Mr Slater requested continuing meetings after the conclusion of the EA engagement but failed to attend the meetings.
Since 26 July 2017 the council have received a further 15 complaints, involving consumer losses of approximately £43,000. His workmanship and behaviour since signing the agreement has got worse and he has failed to address the historical consumer complaints and not provided compensation that he agreed to.
On 15 March 2000 the OFT applied to Kingston County Court for an Order under section 37 of the Fair Trading Act 1973. This Order was made on 2 March 2001 and served on Mr Slater on 14 April 2001.
On 21 September 2005 at Kingston County Court he was found guilty of breaching an Order, received a six month sentence, suspended for three years and ordered to pay costs. Mr Slater paid £4,400 to be applied in compensation to consumers affected by his breach of the Order.
Mr Slater subsequently received a 6 month custodial sentence in July 2007 at Kingston County Court for breaching the Enforcement Order obtained by the Office of Fair Trading in 2005.