Doorstep selling regulations apply to building firms

If you sell products and services worth over £42 to a customer at their home you must provide certain information for your customers, including their right to cancel. Failure to provide this information is a criminal offence. According to www.gov.uk if convicted the trader and/or their business could be fined up to £5,000.

This includes the sale of products and services to customers at:

• their home
• their workplace
• another individual’s home

In addition a failure to give the correct cancellation rights notice means a trader will not be able to enforce payment for any goods or services unless the a correct notice was served.


Who the rules apply to

• The rules apply if you sell goods or services such as:

• home improvement, extension work, repair and maintenance services
• gardening services
• personal items such as cosmetics, clothes, jewellery and toiletries
• household items
• books and leisure items
• nutrition and health products
• energy supplies (eg gas and electricity)
• disability aids and mobility products such as stair lifts, scooters and buggies


Before an order is placed

You must follow certain rules before and after an order is placed. You must display information such as:

• your business name and contact details
• a description of your goods or services
• the price, including all taxes
• how a customer can pay
• delivery arrangements, costs and how long goods will take to arrive
• the minimum length of their contract
• conditions for terminating contracts
• information about the customer’s right to cancel within 14 days


After an order is placed

You must get in touch with your customer in writing after an order is placed and before the goods or services have been delivered.

You must tell them:

• details of what they have purchased
• the total cost
• arrangements for delivery
• the minimum duration of any contract and arrangements for terminating the contract
• how and when they can cancel an order and who pays for returning goods
• an address where complaints can be sent
• any guarantees or after-sales services you offer
• conditions for terminating contracts
• any helpline call charges that are more than calling an 01, 02 or 03 number, or a mobile or free number


Sale of Goods Act

All businesses that supply goods, including online and distance sellers, must follow the ‘Sale of Goods Act’.

These rules apply whether you visit a customer with or without an appointment, or agree the sales contract verbally or in writing.



These rules don’t apply to:

• financial services eg mortgages, pensions, insurance
• contracts for the construction of new houses and flats, sale or rental of property (but they do apply to estate agents’ marketing services, extensions, patios, conservatories or driveways and to repairs, refurbishment and improvement of property)
• contracts for food and drink supplied by regular roundsmen, like a milkman
• contracts worth £42 or less



Failure to inform a customer of their right to cancel is a criminal offence. If convicted the trader and/or their business could be fined up to £5,000.