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Husband and heavily-pregnant wife are forced to live in the attic after paying £22,000 for kitchen extension only for 'rogue trader' to fold business leaving home exposed to the elements

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 19/02/2019 Joel Adams For Mailonline
© Getty Images

A couple have furiously claimed that a builder they paid £22,000 for an extension has disappeared without trace after building just three walls and leaving them sleeping in their attic for months.

Mark Rowe, 34, and his wife Toria say they asked EJP Building Ltd. to extend their kitchen back in October 2017, with work beginning in July 2018.

But when the couple returned from a holiday in September 2018, they claim they found their home exposed to the elements, with an entire wall missing from their new kitchen.

Toria, who is heavily pregnant, and her husband say because of the mess they have been forced to sleep in their attic for most of her pregnancy.

a person posing for a picture: Mark Rowe and his pregnant wife Toria say they have had to sleep in their attic for months © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mark Rowe and his pregnant wife Toria say they have had to sleep in their attic for months

They say despite phone calls, text messages and emails, their builder, Eddie Pollard - listed on Companies House as sole director of EJP Building Ltd. - did not respond.

a brick building: The work began in July 2018 but they returned from holiday in September to find a wall missing © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The work began in July 2018 but they returned from holiday in September to find a wall missing The panicked couple, who had forked out £21,895 to Mr Pollard, began searching online for answers.

a close up of a brick building: The work on their property in Bristol has cost them £22,000 - £10,000 of which builder Eddir Pollard has now been ordered to repay © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The work on their property in Bristol has cost them £22,000 - £10,000 of which builder Eddir Pollard has now been ordered to repay But they say they found he had applied to dissolve the company while they had been on holiday.

Mark and 25-week pregnant Toria, from Brentry, Bristol, say they have had no contact from Mr Pollard in four or five months - apart from one text in September saying he was in hospital.

As a former roofer working in the building trade, Mark, now a data analyst, said: 'I can't believe this sort of thing is still allowed to happen in this country.

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'It's sad to think companies can go limited and then do whatever the like. Shut it down, walk away and start again.'

He added: 'Toria is now more than halfway through her pregnancy. It has put us in financial difficulty trying to get the house back in order using other contractors.

'The loft conversion has been a saving grace for us because we have had to use it as a flat while this has gone on.

'But very soon my wife isn't going to want to climb two flights of stairs to get to bed.

'She's 25 weeks pregnant. The stress this has caused her is phenomenal and means it's not been the pregnancy that we hoped for.'

a close up of a brick building: Apart from one text to claim he was in the hospital, the couple have not heard from builder Eddie Pollard who they say left their home looking like this despite being paid almost the full amount for the work

Apart from one text to claim he was in the hospital, the couple have not heard from builder Eddie Pollard who they say left their home looking like this despite being paid almost the full amount for the work
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

And the shocked couple added that they wanted to warn others about Eddie Pollard - who has seemingly begun trading again under another company name.

According to Companies House, he was appointed director of Bishopsworth Building Services Ltd. on September 13, 2018 - the very same month he cut all contact with the Rowes.

Mark said: 'We just want to warn people that this can happen even if you use limited companies, because they have more protection.

'And we want to warn people about Eddie, who despite shutting down his company has (another) still active.'

The couple claim the build, which began in July 2018 and was due to take ten weeks to complete, was plagued with delays from the start.

Mark said they were initially quoted a total sum of £25,000 for the building work, beginning with a 30 per cent deposit of £7,171.80.

After this, they went on to pay weekly instalments of £1, 673.32 - a tenth of the overall cost.

They say a 10 per cent retainer of £1,673.42 was expected to be paid upon completion.

But the couple claim that Mr Pollard asked them to keep paying the weekly installments even when there were initial delays due to pipes beneath the house.

In total, the couple paid out £21,895.72.

Building materials and bags of waste are strewn across the couple's patio but their builder will not return their calls © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Building materials and bags of waste are strewn across the couple's patio but their builder will not return their calls a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a building: MArk Rowe said he 'couldn't believe' this sort of thing was allowed to happen in the UK © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited MArk Rowe said he 'couldn't believe' this sort of thing was allowed to happen in the UK

Mark said: 'The extension was meant to cost around £25,000 and we have paid nearly £22,000. We got three walls for that - that's it.

'We're having to pay another £13,000 to finish the job and to repair what they had done, because other builders told us the work they had already carried out was poor and done in the wrong order.

'We also had to get more structural drawings done - and that was when we found out he hadn't even paid the structural engineer,' Mark claimed.

'We called him and he didn't answer the phone. I texted, and nothing. He just went silent,' he added.

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'We spoke to one of his labourers and he was also annoyed because he wanted money for the work he had done and he said he couldn't get hold of his boss either.'

'Then, in September, he replied to a text I'd sent saying he was in hospital.

'Of course we left it for a bit and just asked him to let us know when he was well enough to talk about things.

'But two weeks went by, we started looking around online and found out he had applied to dissolve the company back when we were still on holiday.

'I've messaged, called, emailed and written, but we have never heard from him again,' Mark claims.

The couple discovered Mr Pollard had dissolved his firm, EJP Building, and launched another, Bishopsworth Building Services © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The couple discovered Mr Pollard had dissolved his firm, EJP Building, and launched another, Bishopsworth Building Services a couple of lawn chairs sitting on top of a picnic table: Mark Rowe said his wife 'isn't going to want to climb two flights of stairs to get to bed. She's 25 weeks pregnant. The stress this has caused her is phenomenal and means it's not been the pregnancy that we hoped for' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mark Rowe said his wife 'isn't going to want to climb two flights of stairs to get to bed. She's 25 weeks pregnant. The stress this has caused her is phenomenal and means it's not been the pregnancy that we hoped for'

The family say Mr Pollard has not communicated with them over the past four to five months, despite letters being sent and received by him from the courts.

The couple say he has not returned their money - and, consequently, a County Court judgement has been put against his company's name.

The judgement requires Mr Pollard to pay £10,410 - less than the couple paid out because it takes into account work which was carried out.

MailOnline has attempted to contact Mr Pollard by phone and email for comment.

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