How to beat the dishonest builders and owners: tell us your stories and we can help

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NIGHTMARE: When something goes wrong in your home, it's a completely different issue

Poor quality construction work, unexpected rent increases or dealing with dishonest real estate agents can leave us hundreds or even thousands of dollars in cash.

It can also be very stressful and it takes a long time to try to fix things.

So, how can you avoid a nightmarish scenario and what should you do if you face one?

There are checks you can do if you are about to finish the job, or you can hire a real estate agent or lawyer.

You should always shop around before hiring someone.

Of course, we all want to get the best possible deal, but if someone is much cheaper than the others, it would be worth asking why.

Check the reviews online and ask around to see if they seem reliable and honest.

Before delivering any money, be sure to confirm in writing exactly what you are paying, the exact price and the time it will take.

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SNAPS: take regular photos of construction work

If you end up disputing something later, it is vital that you have evidence.

You can do it by simply taking regular photos of the construction work and making sure you have written records of all correspondence.

This will ensure that it does not end up being your word against theirs.

It is worth noting that if you ever feel uncomfortable resolving the matter on your own, you can give permission for a trusted friend or family member to speak with you about the company.

Currently, if you need to file your claim elsewhere, it is not clear where you should go.

There are multiple ombudsman schemes that cover the home and they all work differently.

This makes it a really confusing image and it is difficult to know how to complain and who to do it.

The government seeks to have only one Ombudsman, as in the energy sector, to make the complaint process simpler for you.

We agree that this is the best solution and we want to help you by sharing your experiences.

Therefore, whether you are a tenant, a tenant, a homeowner or work in a home, we want to hear your experience of presenting complaints or dealing with problems in the housing sector at www.buildingbalance.co.uk.

Now is your chance to be heard!

Every month, our consumer rights expert gives your opinion and helps answer your questions.

Lewis Shand Smith is Chief Ombudsman Services Ombudsman Services, a non-profit organization that operates a series of national ombudsman schemes in sectors such as energy, communications and property.

If your claim has been ongoing for eight weeks or more, they can investigate and they can solve the problem, and it's free.