Cowboys find rich pickings as owners look to spruce up their homes

Don't agree to work on the doorstep, and check out the credentials of any trader before letting them in to your home

Don't agree to work on the doorstep, and check out the credentials of any trader before letting them in to your home

0
Have your say

Nearly half of homeowners have fallen victim to a rogue trader, according to an annual survey by Checkatrade.com, which provides access to qualified, vetted tradespeople.

This compares with just a third of respondents in the last Checkatrade.com survey, indicating an alarming rise in occurrences.

What’s more, the survey also reveals on average homeowners in the East of England stump up £652 putting right the jobs botched by cowboys.

“Taking the time to check up on a tradesperson before hiring one is essential,” says Checkatrade.com boss Kevin Byrne.

“Verify their credentials and ask for two or three references. Reputable traders will not mind you doing this. If they are evasive or refuse to provide you with information then beware, you run the risk of falling victim to a cowboy.”

While two thirds of respondents experiencing a poor service went straight to the tradesperson to complain, shockingly 18 per cent said they took no action, more than in any other UK region.

When asked why half said they didn’t think it would make any difference, but 20 per cent said it was because they had paid cash in hand and 10 per cent said they felt too intimidated by the tradesperson.

Checkatrade.com’s survey also reveals:

Nearly 10 per cent of East of England residents suffering at the hands of a rogue trader complained to the Trading Standards Office or the police, but just half of these complaints were resolved satisfactorily.

More than a quarter of respondents in the region said the experience put stress on their relationship or caused arguments with friends and family, while 20 per cent had to take time off work to remedy the situation.

Kevin added: “Properties with well-running facilities that look the part sell for more, everyone knows that. With house prices rising in the East of England, I urge those fixing up their homes to sell to be vigilant when choosing a trader.”