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Saturday 24 September 2022
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Top tips to stop rip-off repairs

Home repair frauds have soared 35% over the past three years as householders are increasingly ripped off by tradesmen

HOME repair frauds have soared 35% over the past three years as householders are increasingly ripped off by tradesmen they call in to open a locked door, repair a burst pipe or fix a broken window.

The law against such cons has been tightened but householders can avoid problems by following a few simple tips.

Firstly, ignore artisans whose names are on made-up lists of “vital” numbers such as the police or SAMU – artisans can face a fine of €100,000 for claiming such an “official” link.

Ask a neighbour, friend or your insurer for a name; failingthis, use an artisan with the Capeb or Synadep trades logo.

Even for an urgent repair you are entitled to a quote (devis) – it should list the fault, repair and the priced work needed.

For work costing more than €150 artisans are obliged to provide an itemised devis.

Consumer group UFC Que Choisir says opening a locked door out of hours should cost about €130 while a simple toilet unblocking would be €300.

After opening your door the locksmith cannot replace your lock: he must give a price and wait seven days to do so. Another locksmith can though.

- Keep calm and judge exactly how urgent the repair is: Locked door – can you stay the night with a friend/neighbour; burst pipe – you can shut the valve; broken window – it can be covered until morning...

Resident or second-home owner in France?
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