Research reveals 25% of homeowners have fallen victim to rogue trades


New research from Checkatrade has revealed that 21% of British homeowners have been victims of rogue trades.

The study also found that 27% have booked a trade without sourcing references and 24% have completely skipped background checks altogether. While 23% said they would choose the cheapest tradesperson they could find due to cost of living.

This has left 33% regretting their decision to cut corners during their tradesperson research in the past year, according to the research.

Checkatrade has teamed up with Konstantinos Katsikopoulos, Professor of Behavioural Science at the University of Southampton, to reveal 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, Professor Katsikopoulos has determined the elements where people are more likely to take a risk and hire a rogue tradesperson. The Professor said that a combination of stress, low price and word-of-mouth recommendation means a person is 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.”

Adding to the risky behaviours, 47% of respondents admitted to not even thinking about checking if a tradesperson was verified if they offered to do a job for less than £1,000. In fact, £703.84 is the price point at which homeowners will start to think about checking if a tradesperson is verified or vetted by a third party.

Meanwhile, 51% said they would purely rely on a word-of-mouth recommendation for any home improvement job, either planned or emergency, without doing any further checks, potentially putting themselves at risk of employing a rogue tradesperson without even knowing.

While homeowners everywhere should keep an eye out for potential rogue trades, Newcastle, 30%, London, 29%, Liverpool, 25%, and Sheffield, 25%, were the areas where more residents agreed to having been affected by rogue trades, a statement outlined.

Plumbing was revealed as the trade most likely to leave homeowners dissatisfied, according to 24% of respondents. This was followed by painting and decorating, 19%, and bathroom installations, 17%. Nearly a fifth have also been left disappointed by work done outside, either in gardening or fencing.

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