06th January 2012
Hire accredited contracts for storm damage, says APL
The Association of Professional Landscapers is urging consumers to hire accredited contractors to repair damage caused to their gardens by the recent stormy weather.
While customers may be tempted to employ tradesmen who are offering storm-related repairs at a reduced rate, they should be vigilant about hiring a landscaper with a recognised accreditation.
Last year Consumer Direct received more than 5,700 complaints regarding “rogue traders” carrying out home and garden maintenance work.
Figures released by Oxfordshire County Council last November showed that trading standards complaints about garden and tree work had increased by 50 per cent in 12 months.
APL committee member Stuart Marler of TVG Landscaping warned: "Employing a landscaper to do repair work on your garden can often be a bit hit and miss with homeowners facing a lottery of companies who promise to carry out the work."
He added that consumers can feel confident in the repair work done by an APL landscaper.
"The quality of work will remain high at all times and a professional standard will be met," he said.
Members of the Association are registered with the government-endorsed TrustMark scheme and are regularly inspected and they also agree to follow a customer charter with clients, hold the appropriate insurance and have a minimum of three years trading experience.
The recent severe weather conditions have made it all the more necessary for consumers to ensure the quality of any necessary repairs or installations.
Even the hardiest of gardens were not immune to the storm damage.
The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh suffered severe losses as more than 40 trees were blown over in the storm, including some specimens which were hundreds of years old.
Earlier this week in the UK, gales of up to 100mph left 50,000 homes and businesses without power, and the Met Office has warned consumers to be braced for more harsh weather ahead.
Posted by Victor Onuohae
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