Find a tradesperson: council tenants
When hiring a tradesperson, it is important to hire the right person for the job. If you don't, you may end up with even greater damage to your home.
When looking for a tradesperson:
- get recommendations from friends and family - look to your networks and find out about the positive experiences people you know have had
- check with industry contacts - if you are looking for a reliable plumber and you've had a good experience with another professional, such as an electrician, try asking them for a recommendation. Make sure you let the person know who referred you
- deal with an established firm - establish a firm's credibility by checking whether they are registered with a reputable trade organisation (see below). Ensure that they have an office address, telephone number and use headed papers - if VAT is being charged, make sure a VAT number is shown.
- be clear about what you want - before any work starts, get a written specification and an estimate, agree on a payment schedule, get an insurance backed warranty for the job and try not to change your mind halfway through the job- this usually costs more and causes delays.
- stay alert - avoid high pressure sales people, don't sign anything you don't understand and steer clear of advance payments.
- traders in the UK are regulated a by a series of governmental bodies - be sure to check where a trader is registered with the appropriate body before hiring them.
Plumbers - WaterSafe is a body for competent and qualified plumbers in the UK. You can search for your nearest approved plumber on the WaterSafe website (external link).
Gas Engineers - By law, all gas engineers must be on the gas safe register - the official list of gas engineers who are legally registered to work on gas appliances. You can find a Gas Safe registered engineer near you via the Gas Safe register website (external link).
Electricians - a number of organisations in the UK are approved by the government to register competent electricians. Through the Registered Competent Person Electrical website (external link), you can find a government-approved electrician near you.
Locksmiths - There is currently no government licensing of locksmith. Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) (external link)
Approved trader scheme - The Trustmark scheme is the government endorsed quality mark that signposts people to reputable local traders. Find a tradesperson near you through the Trustmark website (external link).