Times are hard. And when times are hard some people are tempted to bend the rules or even break them. There are always rogue traders around but the tough economic conditions means that dishonest tradespeople in a weak position may become what we term a 'rogue' trader. In the domestic services world a rogue trader may also be called a cowboy builder, a cowboy or a scam artist. What they really are is a criminal. Now not every tradesman is a criminal, of course. Even if they do some of the things on our list below. But I'm trying to show you how to minimise your risk of employing one. So make sure that you are not taken in by one of these people by following the simple guidelines below.
If you are looking to get any work done, check out the individual or company you are intending to employ.
If you can't answer 'yes' to any of these questions then do not employ this person or company. Yes, OK it may very well be that you have got hold of an honest guy who is just starting out. They don't have a website, a land line telephone, an office and are not registered for VAT. So what? Let someone else give them their first job. In order to mimimise your risk, just employ an established business.
If someone offers not to charge VAT - walk away. If you pay cash for everything and they run off with your money - how do you prove that you ever paid him? If a company or individual is willing to rip off HMRC - the biggest gangsters in town - they won't think twice about ripping off the small fry - like you and I!
Never employ anyone who knocks at the door. It doesn't matter what they say - and they will say things like this:
Roof repairs, tree surgery services, driveway work, damp proofing and gutter repairs are the services most often offered at the door and most susceptible to the average crook. Mostly because you can't see what's going on as it normally takes place on a roof or up a tree.
Keep these points in mind and you won't go far wrong!
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