Landscaper fined after leaving Hartlepool couple's garden an eyesore
A Hartlepool trader has been fined by a court after his poor landscaping work left a couple’s garden an eyesore.
Daryl Sanders, 34, has been ordered to pay over £2,600 in fines and costs after being convicted of doing unsatisfactory landscaping works without reasonable care and skill.
He pleaded guilty to an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at Teesside Magistrates’ Court in a case brought by Hartlepool Borough Council’s trading standards department.
The court heard how a couple from the town employed Sanders, of Greenock Road, to do landscaping works at their home in May last year and paid £5,900.
The council said numerous problems became evident almost immediately, including loose paving slabs and edging blocks which had been laid over a thin sub-base laid directly onto existing turf with no digging out apparent.
Some of the blocks could simply be lifted by hand and the grouting cracked immediately, allowing weeds to permeate.
The new turf was sinking in places and it was found that it had simply been laid on top of old upturned, diseased turf.
A concrete base for a garden shed was also too small.
The council said Sanders failed to turn up ten times after being asked to go back to put the work right.
The couple contacted Hartlepool’s trading standards department, which arranged for an appraisal of the works by a chartered member of the Landscape Institute.
A report concluded it hadn’t been done to an acceptable standard and would cost the householder more to put right.
Neil Harrison, senior trading standards officer for Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The trading standards department will not hesitate to take action against those who rip-off consumers in this fashion.
"All traders are capable of a poor job once in a while but the number of problems with this work was simply unacceptable and coupled with the failure of the trader to return and put matters right a prosecution was deemed an appropriate course of action.
“Unfortunately for the victims in this case, they are left with their back garden looking an eyesore and they will have a significant outlay to make the garden look as it should have.”
Anyone who has concerns regarding work performed at their property can contact the trading standards department on (01429) 523362.