How to protect yourself from rogue builders - all you need to know

Citizens Advice has revealed there were a surge of complaints against builders and gardeners last ye

Citizens Advice has revealed there were a surge of complaints against builders and gardeners last year. Photo: Getty Images. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Complaints about rogue builders and poor workmanship are on the rise across the UK.

According to Citizens Advice there were almost 60,000 complaints lodged last year against builders and gardeners - a 19% rise. MORE: Hundreds of jobs on offer at London Stansted ahead of busy summer seasonTherefore the organisation has offered the followed advice for the public to help them protect their money:

• Find a trading standards approved trader using local websites or the Government’s TrustMark scheme

• Get references or recommendations from trusted people, or ask the trader for examples of work they have carried out in the past. Try to avoid contractors who won’t give references

• Find out if they are a current member of a trade body, which have codes of practice and can help resolve problems if things go wrong

• Get a written contract - this should cover exactly what you are paying for and everything you have agreed on, like timings, payments, who will pay for materials and subcontractors

• Pay in stages rather than upfront. Where possible try to pay by card as this can provide extra safeguards if something goes wrong

• Keep copies of receipts and your written contract as evidence, as well as photos of any problems