Customers ‘hit the ceiling' as rogue roofer leaves homes in chaos

Thursday 29 June

Andrew Pollard (37) of Longfield Road, Leeds, who traded as “A&J Roofing Solutions Ltd” pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court to ten offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The offences related to:

  • Poor quality workmanship rendering work unfit for purpose, potentially dangerous and, in many cases, requiring complete removal and redoing
  • Failing to fully complete work which, in some cases, resulted in customers having to pay other traders to complete the work
  • Significantly overcharging for work and grossly exaggerating the extent of necessary repairs
  • Failing to honour and in some cases provide 10 year guarantees where customers were told they would be given
  • Failing to provide the required paperwork or advising consumers of their right to cancel contracts.

In 2016 A&J Roofing Solutions Ltd was the most complained about company in West Yorkshire in the field of “Roofing, Fascias and Guttering”. West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service received numerous complaints alleging seriously deficient workmanship, misleading representations regarding the necessity and extent of work and many customers who complained of problems to Mr Pollard were strung along and given false promises that they would be rectified.

Victims of A&J Roofing Solutions, who were spread across Leeds and Bradford, reported to the officers of Trading Standards that they were attracted to the company by their professional looking leaflets, website and sign written vans. It was only later, when the price started to escalate or when it began to rain that they realised that they had been dealing with a rogue.  On interview Andrew Pollard admitted that he would not have been happy if a roofer had carried out the same standard of work to his roof. In total the victims paid over £34,000 to A&J Roofing Solutions with many then having to pay other traders more money to put the problems right.  

In one case Mr Pollard’s company carried out a full re-roof of a property, where the total cost of the work was ratcheted up over time to a total of around £12,500. Mr Pollard admitted in court that the cost of a full re-roof should only have been £3500. The stress of this led to one 68 year old consumer being admitted to hospital.

A 96 year old lady was left stranded and helpless as work done to the roofline of her home quickly became defective and nobody would attend to put it right despite persistent complaints to Mr Pollard.

In another case a 75 year old lady living alone was forced to evacuate her property as a result of extensive water penetration following roofing work carried out by A&J Roofing Solutions.

This is the second conviction secured by the recently formed West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team (WYFEAT). The team draws upon professionals from Trading Standards, West Yorkshire Police and Adult Social Care, who have joined forces to tackle the threat posed by rogue traders on vulnerable people across West Yorkshire.

The case will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on 10th July 2017, with the presiding judge warning Mr Pollard that custody will be on the minds of the court.

David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards commented: “Andrew Pollard has caused widespread harm to the citizens of West Yorkshire with his complete disregard for his customers. This case demonstrates the excellent work of the WYFEAT team which is dedicated to combatting doorstep crime and the financial abuse of residents. Anyone wishing to report unfair sales tactics or seek advice on doorstep sales should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.” 

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, who has helped to provide joint funding for the WYFEAT initiative said: “The impact of the actions of rogue traders such as Mr Pollard go far beyond just financial. They cause significant emotional distress to the victims and those close to them. How someone can feel comfortable blatantly taking advantage of other people in cases such as this we’ll never fully understand, but what we can do is ensure they face robust action if they do. I would like to thank the WYFEAT members for their hard work on this case and achieving such an outcome for vulnerable victims.”

Councilor Pauline Grahame, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards said; “Mr Pollard’s incompetence has left many homes in a disastrous state and his only concern was with maximizing his own profits, whilst leaving his customers to foot the bill. This investigation shows that we will not tolerate the actions of rogues who target the vulnerable in West Yorkshire.”

Case update - Sentence handed down