Let’s face it: when you need a plumber, painter, electrician, or builder, it can be tough to know who to trust. There are so many cowboys around nowadays, and the last thing you want to do is hand over your money to a crook. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to know whether you can trust a local tradesperson once you’ve found someone…

Check with the local council

One of the best ways to find a local tradesperson or confirm whether the one you’ve chosen is legitimate is to visit your local council’s website. Search for a approved traders and they’ll list companies that they’ve approved. Granted, this list may be small and it won’t include every business in the local area, but it can offer you added peace of mind if you know that they have gone through local authority protocols and guidelines and meet their standards.

Ask if they’ll accept PongoPay

A growing number of tradespeople are turning to PongoPay, the tradesmen payments service. The idea is simple: consumers pay for their service up-front using the PongoPay app, but the money stays in a secure account until your tradesperson has carried out the work. Once it’s done, they’ll request for the funds to be released, and they’ll only be released if you’re happy with the work. It reduces the chances of a tradie leaving as soon as you’ve paid them, makes them more accountable for the work, and less likely to do a bodge-job.

Review trade associations

If you can’t find a trader for your next project, see whether there’s a trade association for the service you need. For example, the Gas Safe Register is a good place to start if you’re looking for someone to come and service your boiler. Most associations have a strict set of guidelines that businesses must follow in order to be accepted into. If you’ve already found a potential tradesperson for your job, and they feature a trade association’s logo on their website or marketing materials, make sure you verify it. If they’re not on the website or their membership has expired, it could be a sign that they’re trading under false pretences.

Look at their reviews and referrals

Another way to check whether you can trust a local tradesperson or business is to look at their reviews and recommendations online. Don’t look at their website – they get to choose what does and doesn’t appear on there. Instead, search for them on Google, Facebook, and specialist websites like Check a Trade or Trust a Trader and see what real customers are saying about them. Remember that nobody is perfect, and the odd one-star review shouldn’t alarm you too much, but if their overall rating is less than four or they have a string of poor reviews, it might give you the motivation to continue the search for a five-star-rated firm.

We hope that these tips have helped. Whatever you’re looking for, check back to the blog soon for more advice on homeownership and finding the right professionals for your work.