Over a fifth of homeowners have been caught out by rogue tradesperson

More than a fifth of homeowners have been the victim of a rogue trade, research has found. A poll of 2,000 adults on the property ladder found those from Newcastle, London, and Sheffield are most likely to have fallen victim to a tradesperson scam.

However, 23 percent confessed they’re still likely to choose the cheapest tradesperson on offer and run the risk, due to the cost-of-living crisis.

And more than a quarter (27 percent) have booked a trade without sourcing references, while 24 percent have completely skipped background checks altogether.

This has left 33 percent of those who have done so regretting their decision to cut corners and forego tradesperson research.

Kim Faura, chief product officer at Checkatrade, which commissioned the research, said: “Recently, we’ve been hearing from our Checkatrade trades that they are being asked to rectify problems created by rogue and unqualified trades.

“With one in five homeowners intending to do home improvement work this summer, it’s vital that they do their research before hiring a trade.

“This includes not only referring to directories like ours and our online reviews, but also leaving a review once a job is complete.

“This helps us to continuously monitor if members are upholding the Checkatrade Standard, including committing to carrying out quality and fair work.”

The study also found almost two-thirds (65 percent) have been left at least slightly disappointed by work carried out in their homes or garden – even if they wouldn’t necessarily describe the worker as a rogue tradesperson.

The biggest gripes include poor quality results (62 percent), and leaving a mess behind (24 percent).

But for 20 percent, the biggest bugbear was the job taking much longer than initially estimated to complete.

And 17 percent felt they were overcharged for their job, according to the OnePoll.com figures.

Plumbing was revealed as the trade most likely to leave homeowners dissatisfied (24 percent), followed by painting and decorating (19 percent), and bathroom installations (17 percent).

And more than one in six (17 percent) have also been left disappointed by work done outside, either in gardening or fencing.

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When it comes to unsatisfactory work carried out by a rogue trade, people have found themselves on average losing £1,150.

And six in ten (60 percent) say they had to invest additional money to fix or finish the disappointing work left by a rogue trade.

Konstantinos Katsikopoulos, professor of Behavioural Science at the University of Southampton, has revealed the moment at which people drop their guard, and are more likely to unknowingly invite a rogue tradesperson into their home.

Combined with his research into risk management and perception, he has determined the elements where people are more likely to take a risk and hire an unverified tradesperson.

Professor Katsikopoulos said: “When it comes to risk perception and decision making, people are more likely to cut corners when under bouts of stress, financial pressures, and even trusting word-of-mouth recommendations.

“If you find yourself in these scenarios, it’s best to not rush a decision, no matter how small the cost, and always do your research.”

To find out more about the rogue trade hotspots across the UK, visit here.

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