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The OFT closed on 31 March 2014 and this website is no longer being updated. The OFT's work and responsibilities have passed to a number of different bodies. Read more.

Home repairs and improvements research project

Start date: 1 August 2010

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Update March 2012

Following work with key partners, the OFT has produced a toolkit designed to help Trading Standards and other organisations in their work with consumers and businesses in the home repairs and improvements market. The toolkit includes practical advice (for both consumers and businesses) that Trading Standards and others can use to encourage the successful management and delivery of home repairs and improvements projects. It also includes suggestions for how this advice could be publicised locally to make consumers and businesses aware of the practical steps they can be taking to minimise the potential for complaints:

  1. Home Repairs and Improvements - Business Top Tips (pdf 198kb)
  2. Home Repairs and Improvements - Consumer Top Tips (pdf 51kb)
  3. Home Repairs and Improvements guide to home improvements projects (pdf 70kb)
  4. Home Repairs and Improvements - Publicity Toolkit (pdf 66kb)

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Update December 2011

Following publication, the OFT is engaging with TSS and other key stakeholders to take forward some of the initiatives identified in the research project.

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Update July 2011

As part of its post-publication engagement with stakeholders, the project team has continued to engage with key partners, exploring how to take forward themes and initiatives identified in the OFT strategy document.

Feedback from the Trading Standards Institute Conference workshop (pdf 53kb) will continue to inform our post-publication Steering Group meetings and related discussions on initiatives going forwards.

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In Autumn 2010, the OFT consulted key partners (including Local Authority Trading Standards Services and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)) on the merits and scope of a tailored research project on the Home Repairs and Improvements sector. As a result, in November 2010, TNS-BMRB was commissioned to carry out targeted research on consumers' and businesses' attitudes and behaviours in this sector. Building on the research and on our engagement with key stakeholders, the OFT has produced a strategy paper, identifying key areas for consideration by the consumer protection community, and initiatives to address some of the problems identified.

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OFT strategy document

The OFT strategy document highlights four key areas for improvement in the market and identifies some initiatives that (when considered in conjunction other work in this area, including continued enforcement of consumer protection legislation by the OFT and TSS) can contribute to address some of the problems in this market.

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Summary of research

The research, conducted by TNS-BMRB, included both quantitative and qualitative research. The research focused on consumers' and businesses' attitudes and prevalence of different behaviours, with the qualitative work obtaining more detailed insights into why consumers and businesses act in the way they do, looking at key points during the transaction. The research also explored consumer and business awareness and use of sources of information and advice, including, for example, approved trader schemes.

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Team leader: Emma Fulford (020 7211 8729)
Project director: Carmen Suarez (020 7211 8736)
Senior responsible officer: Sonya Branch (020 7211 8707)

Any media enquiries should be directed to a member of our Press Office.

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