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Co Antrim ‘rogue roofer’ pleads guilty to charges brought by Trading Standards

Roofers at work

A self-employed roofer who carried out work at two properties to a very poor standard was today sentenced at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court. 

The court also granted a compensation order for £1,000.

In a case brought by the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service (TSS), Daniel McDonagh (22), of Hillhead Cottages, Hillhead Road, Toomebridge, Co. Antrim, trading as both MD Contracts and Custom Property, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, for which he was given a conditional discharge, suspended for two years, and one charge under the Fraud Act 2006, for which he received a five-month custodial sentence, also suspended for two years.

In June 2021 Mr McDonagh, trading as MD Contracts, was asked to visit a property in Lisburn as water was coming through the roof. Mr McDonagh told the couple who lived in the property that the roof would need replaced entirely, at a cost of £5,000. He also said the work came with a 20 year guarantee. The couple agreed to go ahead with the work.

Once he had removed all the tiles a few days later Mr McDonagh said that the cost of materials had gone up and the job would now cost a further £1,000. He also agreed to some further work for £400, which he failed to carry out.

The work was completed in mid-June, by which time Mr McDonagh had been paid £6,700 in total. 

However, shortly after, water started coming into the rear bedroom.

As part of the investigation the TSS commissioned an expert report on the new roof. The report found the work carried out by Mr McDonagh to be “completely unsatisfactory”. 

It concluded the entire roof should be stripped off and replaced and that in total the necessary remedial work would cost £5,190.

In the other case Mr McDonagh was trading as Custom Property. He was asked to call to a property in Crumlin, where the owner had noticed water leaking into the upstairs bedroom. Mr McDonagh said the roof would need more than just patched up and the work would cost around £5,000. 

The following day, when he had begun the work, Mr McDonagh said the roof was in a worse condition than he thought and would now cost £7,000 to repair. 

After the work had been completed, at a total cost of £7,000, the roof continued to leak, even after Mr McDonagh had returned to carry out further repairs. Eventually another roofer was employed and fixed the roof at a cost of a further £11,000. 

Mr McDonagh also used a false business address and falsely claimed that his work came with a 20 year guarantee.

Alison Gilchrist of the TSS said:

“Many rogue traders who used to knock on doors have now moved online. They target consumers through trader websites where they can create profiles and search for consumers to target. Both sets of victims in these cases found Mr McDonagh by searching online for someone to do the work to their roof.”

Alison added:

“Regardless of how you find someone to come and quote for work, don’t be rushed into making a decision. A legitimate business will be happy to quote you for the job and give you time to make up your mind and won’t ask for large amounts of money up front.”  

Anyone who believes they have been similarly affected should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.


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