MORE than one in five homeowners admit they have no idea how to spot a rogue tradesman.
A study of 2,000 adults has found a whopping 49 per cent don’t know how to tell if they are verified or not.
Just under five in ten (47 per cent) also said they have no idea what qualifications to look out for when hiring a tradesman.
As a result, 60 per cent admitted the idea of having to source a tradesman to do work on their home fills them with anxiety.
In a separate study, Checkatrade put the findings to the test by asking people to pick out the verified tradesman from a line-up.
But only a third said they weren’t sure just from looking at them, while just 15 per cent picked the right person – Lucy Robinson, pictured sixth right.
The locksmith, from East Sussex, said: “Reputation is crucial in the trade industry, and rogue trades operating in this environment gives our industry a bad name.
“It’s important homeowners understand just how difficult rogue trades are to spot, and why it is so important to carry out checks to make sure your work is being carried out by a suitable skilled and qualified trustworthy trade.”
Mike Fairman, CEO at Checkatrade, added: ‘High demand for tradespeople, the rising cost of living and the ongoing raw materials shortage have placed a huge amount of pressure on the home improvement industry, creating the ideal environment for rogue trades to step in and take advantage.
“On the surface it’s impossible to tell the cowboys from the good guys, and you don’t want to risk finding out as a result of a botched job.
“The best way to avoid rogue trades is to only hire suitably skilled and qualified workers.
“It’s this principal that led to the launch of Checkatrade in the first place.’’
Tips for keeping rogue traders at bay
Be wary of high availability
Some unverified trades will take advantage of busy periods or moments of crisis such as extreme weather. Make sure you read reviews of their past work, and ensure they are vetted and qualified to undertake the project.
Be careful of cheap quotes
If the cost seems too good to be true, it most likely is. The cheapest quote is normally only cheaper because it’s been rushed or corners have been cut.
And remember, cheap work can’t always be rectified.
Beware of being asked for full payment upfront
Don’t agree to making full payment in advance of work being undertaken. Make sure you recieve a detailed written quote that includes terms and conditions, and states what will be covered by the quote – and what won’t.
Never accept work from trades who doorstep
Forty-four per cent of people have been doorstepped, but reputable trades will never carry out this practice. Never be pressured into having work done by someone who knocks on your door out of the blue.