Who are Gypysy Roofers and why are they common in Sydney’s Inner West?

The Daily Telegraph published a story on 29th August 2011 about Gypsies doing dodgy roof repairs…

A few years ago, I came across a reported case of ‘Gypsy Roofer extortion’ in Sydney’s inner west while investigating a roof leak


The Gypsy story goes like this…

…A couple of roofers knocked on the door of this house in Sydney’s inner west and told the house owner that she had some loose tiles at the front of the house. They said that they could fix it for $200. They were very presentable and dressed had roofers shirts on – so the lady agreed.

After doing some work on the front of the house, they came down with some bad news. The rest of the roof also needed work and they could do it straight away for another $1000. Somehow, they extorted an agreement from the lady and proceeded to start work.

… Meanwhile, the lady has some ill feelings and rung her husband at work. They agreed that since they were there, she may as well let them complete the work to the roof.

Soon, it was time for the roofers to collect their payment, and things started to go wrong. Firstly they demanded a payment of $1700.

Fortunately, the lady managed to contact her husband again and he managed to get home quickly… The gypsy roofers explained that their Irish accent may have confused the lady. She must have confused $1000 with $1700. It was not until the husband demanded a building or contractor licence from the Gypsy roofers that he managed to get the upper hand (since gypsy roofers hold no licences)…

It became quite a tricky situation and rather than not pay the Gypsy roofers anything, the couple finally ended up parting with $1000. The lady was dead scared that the gypsy roofers would return when she was alone and pay retribution because they did not get paid…

It would not have been so bad if the gypsy roofers did do a good job on the roof. The home owners had no idea what sort of work had been done until they called me in to trace a water leak. The roof was in a worst state that before it got ‘fixed’- and because of the work done, it would cost more to undo the work before the proper roof repair job can be carried out…

The video below tells the story better.

The best advice for all homeowners is NEVER to let anyone who door knocks anywhere on your roof to start doing work. Ask for their credentials and a written quote first. Then give yourself some time to check them out before contacting them again if you would like them and want them to work on your roof.

Gypsy roofers
Save yourself from travelling CON men attacks

And if you want more information about these “Travelling Con Men” visit the NSW fair trading website. You may save yourself a lot of heartache… There is a link there to a facebook page about travelling Con men

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