Could You Avoid Being Conned by Dodgy Tradesmen?

Most of us think we could, but you only need to look online each day to find stories of people who were caught out. We’re not that comfortable using tradespeople we haven’t come across before, either. One survey revealed over 75% of people are nervous about using someone new.

Here are some tips to help you reduce the odds of being caught out.

Can you get recommendations?

Ask neighbours if they’ve had work done and ask who they used. Most are only too happy to let you know about a plumber, builder or electrician they are happy to rely on whenever the need arises. It doesn’t completely get rid of the risk factor, but it’s a lot safer than picking someone out of the phone book at random.

Can you find out more about their business?

Image courtesy of D Knudsen

Most traders have a website nowadays. This should have their contact details on it. Don’t panic if they aren’t members of an official organisation, as this isn’t always necessary. Of course, if you’re hiring a plumber to install a new gas boiler, they’d need to be a member of the Gas Safe register, so in some cases there should be evidence of the appropriate qualifications.

Can you get an agreement for the work in writing ahead of time?

This should be provided ahead of the work being done, so you have proof of the agreement between you in case things go south. Make sure the price quoted is clearly indicated on the contract.

Of course, even if you follow all these pieces of advice, you may still feel uncertain about choosing someone. If you are in any of the London boroughs, Thrift Urban Housing may be able to help. We provide support and advice for elderly and vulnerable people who need assistance. We also have a building handyman scheme that could be just what you are looking for. It’s one of the best ways to have confidence in something that needs doing, even when you haven’t had any work done on your property before. We’re here to help if we can.

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