Kitchens firm fined and ordered to pay compensation for 'sub-standard work'

A company which carried out poor quality work on a conservatory and kitchen at a woman’s house has been fined and ordered to pay £50,000 in compensation.

By Gavin Ledwith
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 3:49 pm

Durham County Council’s trading standards team launched an investigation into the work by Kitchens Plus, of Earlsway, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, at a property in Wingate and an independent inspection concluded that 15 different aspects lacked the appropriate care and skill that would have reasonably been expected.

While the complainant paid £24,000, it is estimated that the cost of making good the damage is now £85,000.

At a hearing at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, Kitchens Plus pleaded guilty to knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence under regulation 3(3)(a) of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The case was heard at Peterlee Magistrates' Court.

In mitigation, the court heard that the company has been trading since 1998 and the offence was not committed in bad faith.

There have been no previous prosecutions against the firm and the company has tried to rectify the problems with the complainant.

Magistrates fined Kitchens Plus £12,000 and ordered it to pay the complainant £50,000 in compensation.

The company was also ordered to pay £2,300 in investigation costs.

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of community protection, said: “The work carried out on the complainant’s house was to a very poor standard and we are pleased that she will be compensated for what has happened to her home and the distress caused.

“This case demonstrates that if sub-standard work is carried out on properties in County Durham, we will consider the evidence on a case-by-case basis and if this indicates that a breach of the criminal law has taken place we will consider taking those responsible to court.”