Landlords and letting agents are being warned to be on their guard against rogue tradespeople who are looking to rip them off with dodgy work on rental properties.
The warning comes from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) who say that contractors and tradespeople are taking advantage of landlords by overcharging on the work they do and not completing the work to a good enough standard.
Landlords and agents who use these tradesmen face losing thousands of pounds because the work has to be corrected.
The organisation points to a landlord who was charged £90 by a plumber to tighten a leaking radiator valve which, according to the tenant, had taken the plumber just two minutes to complete.
Patricia Barber, the AIIC's chairman, said: “The problem seems to be more common and it's something that agents and landlords can easily address.
‘Before landlords employ a tradesperson’
“Before landlords employ a tradesperson they should ask for a quote. The landlord can also look for an updated quote once they have visited the property and assessed the situation.”
Ms Barber also suggest that landlords could tell a tradesperson of their budget to help alleviate the prospect of being handed an expectedly high bill which means the tradesperson will need to decide whether they will take the job on.
To help avoid using rogue tradespeople, the AIIC suggest that letting agents and landlords use online resources where the work of contractors has been recommended.
Ms Barber adds: “Landlords should also leave reviews when the work is complete to help others make a decision and help keep the online directories up-to-date and as accurate as possible.”
The AIIC says landlords will need to pay for essential items and work so will need to put money aside for this purpose but by choosing the wrong tradesperson means they are spending more than they need to.
Most tenants self-fund home improvements
Meanwhile, it's been revealed that 73% of tenants in a rented property are self-funding its improvements.
The findings come from Plentific.com, a home services online marketplace, which found that older tenants are spending more than younger ones.
They have also broken down the prices and found that 26% of tenants are spending less than £100 on the property, 24% spent between £100 and £500 while 23% spent more than £500.
A spokesman for the site said: “Our findings show that most people renting will pay for and carry out some improvements and it highlights the importance of personalising a living area to make it more than just a rental space.”