Advice to prevent people being hit on by rogue traders

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Rogue traders are putting vulnerable residents at risk, a company which monitors contractors has warned.

As a result of the threat, a checklist has been provided advising people what to consider when looking for a tradesman they can trust.

People should avoid contractors who cold call or doorstep and try to use builders recommended by people who have used them before, according to Kevin Byrne, founder of Checkatrade, which vets and monitors traders and drew up the advice.

Before work starts, people should get written quotes or estimates from at least three contractors and take time to properly brief tradesmen and put in writing as much detail about the work as possible to avoid any confusion.

Checkatrade also recommends making sure you have adequate contact details for the trader in case of problems, including an office address and trade association membership details.

Although work can be delayed by factors outside of the tradesman’s control, people are advised to agree a start and estimated finish date.

With regards to costs, it is suggested people get jobs done on a fixed-price basis, agree payment terms in advance, be careful of anyone that asks for up-front payments and avoid traders who specifically ask for cash.

Once you agree terms and before work starts, Checkatrade advises drawing up a simple contract, and once work has begun regularly check works are on schedule.