June 13, 2024

A retired couple have told of their fury after being left thousands of pounds out of pocket after paying a deposit for a kitchen which they say never turned up.
Kathleen and Robert Stuart, a retired couple from Chapel House near Newcastle, hired Sacriston-based Home Bathroom Installations to help renovate their newly-bought bungalow in late 2020 ahead of them moving in.
But the couple say they have been left £4,000 worse off after the firm’s owner Anthony Wilson took the deposit for their kitchen units but never delivered them.
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Now Mr Wilson has promised to investigate the couple’s refund after saying he processed it ‘many months ago’.
It comes after The Northern Echo reported how another customer of Home Bathroom Installations was owed £7,000 by the firm after winning a County Court Judgement against it.
Kathleen and Robert Stuart in their now completed kitchen, which they initially paid a builder a £4,000 deposit for but say he never delivered it. The work has now been completed after hiring another builder. Picture: DANIEL HORDONRobert Stuart jokes he has "the most expensive kitchen in Chapel House" after having to buy the units again, after paying a builder a deposit for units which he says were never delivered. Picture: DANIEL HORDON
Kathleen Stuart, 75, said: “The whole thing has been such a nightmare.
“When we moved into our new house we put an advert online looking for someone to do some work for us and Anthony got in touch – I wish he never had.
“He said he needed about £4,000 as a deposit for the kitchen units we liked so sent him the money but he never delivered the units.
“We’ve asked him for the money back so many times and he still hasn’t returned it to us, he can’t get away with it.”
As well as their kitchen which never turned up Kathleen says the work done by the firm was completed to a poor standard, with radiators not connected properly, tiles laid incorrectly, and their kitchen extension left without a roof for four months leaving them scooping out rain water.
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Mrs Stuart added: “At first he was only meant to do the bathroom but when we told him we needed the central heating sorted and the kitchen extension he said he could do it all.
Kathleen and Robert Stuart in their now completed kitchen, which they initially paid a builder a £4,000 deposit for but say he never delivered it. The work has now been completed after hiring another builder. Picture: DANIEL HORDONThe couple say their extension was left without a roof for months. Picture: DANIEL HORDON
“There were constant delays and the work was shoddy. The bathroom tiles weren’t laid properly, the radiators were the wrong lengths and then we didn’t have a roof on the extension for four months so Bobby had to scoop out the water when it rained.”
“We’ve had to get somebody in to sort it all out which has cost us over £12,000.
In one message sent by Anthony to Kathleen he said: “I’m sorry for the way things have turned out” but the couple say they still haven’t been returned the £4,000 they say they’re owed, despite asked for it as far back as November 2021.
In response, Anthony Wilson told The Northern Echo: “Regarding the work not carried out properly, I offered to sort a very minor issue with the radiator pipes. All that was involved was to slightly move a pipe fitting, I was told not to bother by the customer.
“There was a small amount of grout missing from in between two tiles, again I offered to sort this and a tiler went twice but nobody was at home.
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“I am pleased you have brought the deposit refund to my attention as this was processed many many months ago so I will look into this.
Kathleen and Robert Stuart in their now completed kitchen, which they initially paid a builder a £4,000 deposit for but say he never delivered it. The work has now been completed after hiring another builder. Picture: DANIEL HORDONThe radiators were the wrong size so "ugly" bend pipes were installed. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO
“There were delays on this project and unfortunately this was mainly due to the fact we were at the height of the pandemic towards the end of 2020 running into many months of enforced isolation in the months of 2021.
“I offered to rectify the issues at all times but as you can appreciate the timelines were extremely difficult as was the supply of all materials to the construction industry and unfortunately our working relationship broke down irretrievably.”
Sacriston-based Home Bathroom Installations has since ceased trading, but owner Anthony Wilson has now set up a new company named Bathrooms and Cladding in Houghton-le-Spring.
Kathleen and Robert Stuart in their now completed kitchen, which they initially paid a builder a £4,000 deposit for but say he never delivered it. The work has now been completed after hiring another builder. Picture: DANIEL HORDONKathleen says tiles were installed incorrectly, over gaps in the floorboards. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO
It was only after work had got underway that Kathleen was approached by Chapel House neighbour James Crosthwaite who told The Northern Echo last month how he was owed £7k by the same firm after his bathroom renovations turned into a ‘nightmare’.
Mr Crosthwaite won a County Court Judgement against Home Bathroom Installations but has so far been unable to get any money back after High Court Enforcement tried three times to carry out a writ against the firm.
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