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Rogue builder receives suspended prison sentence and fined £25k for botched Ashton home conversions

A rogue builder has received suspended prison sentences and been fined £25,000 after carrying out botched work on two Tameside homes – one which was left with part of the roof missing.

On May 3, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Ahsan Ul Haq, of New Lane, Halifax, trading as Your Home Our Pride Building Services, had been contracted to carry out a loft conversion at one property and a basement conversion at the other.

But he failed to finish the work he was paid for and left both Ashton homes in a poor state – one of the properties was left so unhabitable that the homeowner and her family were forced to move out and stay with relatives.

He then failed to respond to requests from the victims to rectify and complete the work and left the country, in doing so breaking all contact with the victims. 

Following complaints by the victims to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline in July 2021, an investigation was carried out by Tameside Council’s Trading Standards officers, supported by the council’s Building Control team.

Mr Ul Haq pleaded guilty on 10 November 2023 to two counts of the offence of knowingly engaging in an unfair commercial practice in relation to building works at the two properties between March and June 2021.

He admitted that he had contravened the requirements of professional diligence with regards to the building works, by failing to complete the contracted work paid for and carrying out the completed works to a poor standard.

He also failed to submit an application and notice to Tameside Council Planning and Building Control Services for the building works, despite telling the victims that he would do so. 

The court heard the actions of Mr Ul Haq have had a huge emotional and financial impact on both families, who are related to each other.

One of the families could only return to their home after 16 months due to delays in being able to get another builder to make it habitable and complete the work, and the owners of the other property have so far been unable to have work on their basement conversion completed. 

Mr Ul Haq was sentenced to two consecutive suspended prison sentences of 8 months each and was ordered to pay £7000 in compensation to the victims within 28 days and a further £750 each month for the next two years, totalling £25,000. Out of this amount £13510 and £9250 will go to the victims respectively and the remaining £2,240 towards prosecution costs.

The Judge said there was no doubt that the defendant’s actions had met the threshold for a custodial sentence, due to the financial and emotional harm suffered by the victims and their families. However, she said made the decision to suspend the sentences on the basis that the defendant had shown remorse for his actions and a desire the compensate the victims as much as he can. She also took into consideration the impact that his immediate imprisonment would have on his mother and wife – the defence provided evidence that he acts as a carer for both due to illness. 

Tameside Council Assistant Executive Member Cllr Vincent Ricci said: “Our trading standards team aim to protect consumers and support legitimate businesses by ensuring businesses trade fairly, safely and legally. If a trader or business is found to have breached consumer protection legislation, we will  always take appropriate enforcement action and we’re pleased to see a successful outcome in court to this investigation and the victims will receive compensation for emotional and financial impact of the offences.”

For further information on Tameside Trading Standards see www.tameside.gov.uk/tradingstandards

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