Citizens Advice Sherwood and Newark

by | 15 October 2022 | Citizens Advice, Sherwood

“I’ve got loads of problems with my house that I’ve been putting off fixing – a faulty boiler, a window that won’t shut properly, the list goes on! How do I find someone I can trust?”

There are a few steps you can follow to help.

First, find a Trading Standards ‘approved trader’. Look at local businesses or use the Government’s approved trader scheme TrustMark. Ask if they’re a member of a trade body, then check the trade body’s website. Trade bodies have codes of practice and can help resolve problems if things go wrong. For gas and electric fixes, only use certified traders. Check the Gas Safe Register for a list and use a registered electrician who can certify their own work.

It’s helpful to get references or recommendations. Ask friends, family or neighbours. Also, ask the person you hire for examples of work they’ve carried out.

Get a written quote – this is different to an estimate. A quote is legally binding and the tradesperson can’t change it without a good reason – eg, if you want extra work doing. Compare quotes from several contractors.

Next, get a written contract. This should cover exactly what you’re paying for and everything you’ve agreed, including timings, payments, who will pay for materials and any subcontractors. When it comes to payment, it’s best to pay in stages rather than upfront. Try to pay by card – this can give you extra safeguards if something goes wrong.

Finally, make sure your trader is fully insured. Keep copies of receipts, your written contract and take photos of any problems if they arise.

Contact Citizens Advice Sherwood and Newark

Local office: 01623 861769 (you may be offered a call-back).
Adviceline: 0800 144 88 48 (RelayUK (type what you want to say): 18001 0800 144 8884), Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.
Chat online: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/contact-us.
Ollerton office: Monday and Wednesday, 9.30am to 2.30pm – 5 Forest Court, NG22 9PL.
See www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/sherwood-newark/