Bury St Edmunds couple win case against rogue builder Mark Everett after Suffolk Trading Standards step in
A Bury St Edmunds couple have won a case against a fraudulent builder after living in an unsafe home for nearly three years.
Liz Cummins, 49, and Kelly Cameron, 47, are hoping legal compensation will be enough for them to finally afford £100,000 worth of repair work urgently needed on their Garland Street house.
Damage caused by Hawstead builder Mark Everett, hired to complete a loft conversion and single storey extension in April 2016, has left the home’s third floor so precarious that it needs to be evacuated in bad weather.
“As long as there are no high winds, it should be okay but everytime the weather is bad we would not go up there.” - Liz Cummins
Ms Cummins said the loft bedroom was intended for her twins but the stress of the situation has affected the health of her 18-year-old daughter Lucy.
“We have got acrow prop holding up the kitchen ceiling,” she said. “The loft has got holes everywhere and living here we felt like we couldn’t move on. The loft was going to be the bedroom for my twin girls, but my daughter got quite poorly.
“As long as there are no high winds, it should be okay but everytime the weather is bad we would not go up there.”
Ms Cummins said the work was needed to extend the property to create space for both her daughters and also Ms Cameron’s daughter, also 18. Ms Cameron also has a 21-year-old son, who has moved out.
The couple were told by Everett, 51, of Whepstead Road, that the work would be completed by July 2016. They moved out and rented another property while he was working but regularly came back to check.
She recalled ‘feeling concerned’ with the methods and appearance so contacted the council - who then condemned the building as unsafe, while a surveyor estimated a £100,000 repair bill.
Suffolk Trading Standards took up the case and Everett pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday to being a knowing party to fraudulent business.
The court heard he did not obtain building calculations and left Ms Cummins with an estimated £50,000 worth of work to pay for.
Four lesser charges were left to lie on file as judge John Devaux adjourned Everett’s sentencing to April 1 and released him on bail.
Ms Cummins said: “I did not think he would plead guilty. I am relieved, it was very stressful. It has gone on for more than two years.
“Now we would like to be reimbursed to get the work done.
“We have gone through so much together. We can now look forward to getting back to normal.”