How do you avoid rogue traders?

Choosing a trusted trader to undertake work in your home can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t need to be.

We have all heard the horror stories of rogue traders – taking your deposit, and disappearing, without completing any work.

So, how can you trust a local trader?

A checklist of things to watch out for include:

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Advice for avoiding rogue traders

  • Be wary of super cheap quotes

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! It’s always worth paying a little extra for a reliable and genuine trader.

  • Agree everything beforehand

    Get everything in writing agreed before any work starts, so you are all on the same page as to which work is to be undertaken.

    A contract with your local trader should include a list of materials and labour costs; a payment schedule; the final price including VAT; a statement confirming your home will conform to building regulations, and information on cleanup after the work has been completed.

  • References

    Always ask for references, or better yet – choose a local trader based on a recommendation from someone you know and trust.
  • Emergency jobs

    For work at your home that needs to be completed with urgency, and you can only arrange the job over the phone (not in-person), you need to check the emergency call-out rate of the contractor, an estimate of how long the job will take (and cost), and insurance information.

How do I protect myself from rogue builders?

Always conduct hefty research before signing up with a contractor to work at your home. Check their insurance details (public liability insurance is non-negotiable), their qualifications, and whether they have any negative reviews online from previous disgruntled customers.

How do I report a rogue trader?

If it’s all gone horribly wrong with your chosen contractor, your first port of call is the Citizens Advice Bureau. If required, they will assist you in reporting a contractor to Trading Standards.

Trust Your Trader

Keep this checklist in mind when you are in the market for seeking a local trader, and they will stand you in good stead.

All our advertisers in the Local Traders Publications Online and Paper Directory are reputable traders, and we will always take steps to rectify any grievances if necessary, providing you with peace of mind.