Are you about to hire a tradesman to work in your home or garden?
Whether the job is big or small, there are certain steps we advise you to take. For your own protection, please take a few minutes to read this advice. Following these guidelines could save you time, money and a lot of stress.
When employing a tradesman you are advised
To follow best practice and:-
- Be specific and set out a detailed, clear brief when requesting at least three quotes.
- Ask friends and family for a recommendation and check the TrustMark website at www.trustmark.org.uk to ensure that the tradesman is registered for the particular trades you require
- Use a firm that advertises using a landline phone number and be very wary of those only willing to give you a mobile number
- Seek references, speak to previous customers and if a reasonable sized job, visit previous jobs
- Don't just go with the cheapest, consider your ability to communicate with the firm and the quality of their work
- Only pay for work that has been done and not by advance payments
- If materials need to be bought in advance by the tradesman, it is reasonable that the customer is asked to pay a fair percentage of these costs as the job progresses
- Always use a written contract as it offers you protection if anything does go wrong
- Agree in writing any changes to the agreed contract value and ensure these are agreed in writing before the work is done
On the 13 June 2014 the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 SI 2013 No. 3134 came into force.
These regulations now apply to contracts concluded on or after 13 June 2014. On this date, the Distance Selling Regulations 2000 and the Off Premises (Doorstep) Regulations 2008 were revoked.
Many of the information provisions are already required by existing legislation and will be familiar to businesses. However some are new, some examples include:
- Schedule 1 to the regulations lists the information to be provided for on-premises contracts,
- Schedule 2 to the regulations lists the information to be provided for distance and off-premises contracts
- Where cancellation rights exist, all distance and off-premises sellers covered by the regulations will need to provide the cancellation form in Schedule 3.
How do I know a tradesman is trustworthy?
If a firm is TrustMark registered, it is working to a code of practice set down by an approved Scheme Operator and standards that give you greater confidence and protection. To find out more about the Government-backed standards for approved tradesmen/firms, see: Standards. View information on how to avoid rogue traders.
What standards of workmanship can I expect?
We don't expect TrustMark tradesmen to walk on water - but we do expect them to do a good job. TrustMark registered firms are checked and monitored against recognised British, international or industry standards. We aim to ensure you receive a good standard of workmanship and that any complaint will be treated fairly if there is a problem. If you are unhappy with the service you have received from a TrustMark registered firm, follow the guidance in: If things go wrong
How do I know the firm is financially sound?
A tradesman's/firm's trading record and financial position is checked when they first join the scheme. But such checks can never guarantee a firm will not hit financial difficulties - that's why we insist all registered firms offer you the opportunity to buy a Warranty giving you some increased protection if the firm should go out of business. To find out more about standards for approved Scheme Operators and their firms see: Standards
Who checks up on these tradesmen?
TrustMark's approved Scheme Operators (which include trade associations, local authorities / Trading Standards, certification inspection schemes and commercial organisations) check the performance of their registered firms.
So who checks up on the approved Scheme Operators?
We do. The TrustMark team monitors approved Scheme Operators on behalf of the TrustMark Board. The Board reviews each approved scheme operator's performance, taking into account an independent assessment of the quality of their work, how they handle complaints, and so on. To find out more about the Government-endorsed standards for approved Scheme Operators see: Standards