I am afraid to say my usual cheery disposition has been affected by hearing about a damp proofing scam that has got me fizzing!
The latest scam that has got my goat involves contractors carrying out damp proofing work on buildings that do not need it simply to release government funding.
Obviously this is a concern for everyone in our line of work. Performing unnecessary work and scamming government funding is exactly the sort of behaviour that erodes customer trust in the property care industry and it simply cannot be tolerated by reputable companies like Wise Property Care.
So, what should we all be looking out for?
Help for “hard to treat” damp properties
One of the saddest aspects of this scam is that it is taking advantage of an extremely positive government scheme.
The governments ECO Affordable Warmth Scheme has been set up to allow free damp treatment for homes with “hard to treat” damp and insulation problems. Homes classed as “hard to treat” can receive an A-rated energy efficient boiler, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation free of charge. The scheme is designed to tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
The damp proofing treatment scam
Despite all the positive points of the ECO scheme, it looks like dodgy insulation suppliers have been using a loophole to take advantage of the scheme to line their own pockets. By approaching contractors to perform work on perfectly normal properties, without inspection by a surveyor, the insulation suppliers can claim that damp proofing treatment has been carried out on a property because it really needed it; and this releases government funds reserved for “hard to treat” homes.
This is the very definition of a scam.
Have you been offered free damp proofing?
Obviously reputable firms like Wise Property Care have no involvement with suppliers that would ask us to provide needless work to unlock government funding. This is why we carry out a thorough, professional, property survey before recommending any damp proofing treatment. If a contractor is willing to carry out work without a survey then you have to ask a number of questions about what else they are skimping on.
That said, there are rouge companies out there who will happily get involved in scams like this. So, if you are offered free insulation or a new boiler when it is not needed, then it is likely you are dealing with a dodgy operator; and this comes with all sorts of associated risks with regards to the quality of work that might be carried out.
Remember the old adage; if an offer seems too good to be true – it probably is!
Find out more about damp proofing
- Damp proofing: Visit our damp proofing page for help and advice on identifying particular damp problems.
- Prevent damp problems: The Rotter, aka Wise Property Care MD Les Meikle, is interviewed by the BBC regarding the best ways to prevent damp in a property.
- Causes of damp in homes: Find out about what causes damp problems in properties and how you can go about preventing them.
- Choosing a damp proofing company: Check out our 12 top tips for choosing a reputable damp proofing company.
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