A CONCERNED window cleaner is warning householders they could face expensive legal action if they pay uninsured workers to wash their windows.

Matthew Softley, 39, who trades as the Window Man, says these cleaners can often be much cheaper but can leave residents with extra costs if they cause injury or damage.

He wants to set up a scheme where residents can access the names and contact details of legitimate window cleaners.

He said: “If you have got any offers to clean your house for under £10, I would seriously question them and if they cannot give you satisfactory answers or produce any paperwork, avoid them like the plague.

“The main thing I have been trying to tell people is with these guys there’s no way on earth they are going to have any form of insurance.

“If you have got an uninsured tradesman on your house and they injure a member of the public, the member of the public can sue the householder.

“Also, if an uninsured tradesman is on your house and he wants to put in a claim against you because he has injured himself and he isn’t insured, he can sue the householder.”

Mr Softley said people can ask to see an insurance document, which should state that the worker is insured to clean windows, including with the use of a ladder if that person has a ladder.

He said residents can call the insurance provider to check it is legitimate and still in date. He said people should be particularly wary of window cleaners who do not have contact details and will only be paid in cash.

Mr Softley, of Abbey Meads, said rogue window cleaners are rife across Swindon, but often target vulnerable and elderly people on council estates.

He said: “Some of these guys have got whole areas sewn up and a lot of the people in these areas are just getting ripped off because the quality of the work is disgusting.

“A lot of the old dears who are having this work done, you are trying to poach them but they are absolutely terrified of change or confrontation with anyone. I have been window cleaning for about a year and a half and predominantly a lot of it is on the council estates that this is going on.”

Coun Paul Baker (Lab, Penhill) is backing Mr Softley’s plans for the scheme to protect residents. He said: “Then you know you have a recognised and respectable person doing the job and there’s no fear of anybody, especially elderly people, getting ripped off.”