Though a lot of landlords are very proficient at DIY tasks and it’s often cheaper to do as many jobs yourself as you can, sometimes you just need to call in a tradesman. However, whenever you relinquish your work to a tradesman it can be tricky to know whether you’re getting a good price or good quality work. How can you be sure what your paying for is fair and how should you go about dealing with poor quality craft?
Just like you’d check the credentials of a tenant it’s important to do the same for tradesmen. Gas and electricity professionals should be registered with their respective trading organisations and there are a variety of websites which allow you to leave feedback on tradesmen. Even a quick search online of a name can bring up a number of results that should help you to identify any immediate problems.
If you’re unsure whether a piece of work is up to standard you should seek a second opinion. Try to minimise disruption on your tenants while work is going on and, if necessary, ensure you’re covered with unoccupied property insurance. If a second tradesman does find fault with work you should return to the first to attempt to put things right.
Taking it Further
If work does prove to be unsatisfactory it’s important to know where to turn. Talk to the tradesman who did the work and ensure they amend it, but failing this you should go to a consumer organisation or watchdog. A common remedy is to withhold payment for work but this can go either way. It’s likely to act as a motivator or tradesmen to finish work to a good standard but it could, equally, land you in court. If you are preparing to withhold payment, make sure you know the risks.
Unfortunately trade work can be haphazard but it does only happen in a minority of cases. Remember to check the credentials of any tradesman you’re thinking of employing and though you should expect the work to be up to scratch be sure you have a plan of action in the cases where it isn’t.