Landlords and agents have been warned to watch out for rogue maintenance contractors charging extortionate prices for shoddy work.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) recently reported a case of a landlord complaining that a plumber had charged £90 for tightening a valve connection to a leaking radiator – a job that took a mere two minutes to complete. There is concern that this could be part of a wider trend of tradespeople costing landlords and agents thousands of excess pounds per year through overcharging.
Suggestions of ways to avoid this issue include taking advantage of online resources which trade traders, as well as seeking recommendations. Maintenance jobs are inevitable and essential in any rental property, however rip-off prices are not.
AIIC chair Patricia Barber, said: ‘This is a problem that seems to be becoming more common, but it’s something that landlords and agents can address easily. Before employing any tradesperson you should ask for a quote. You can also ask them to provide an updated quote once they have visited the rental property and assessed the situation. What’s more, by informing a tradesperson of your maximum spend or budget you can alleviate the worry of being hit with an unexpected bill. It is then up to the contractor to decide whether or not they want to take on the job.’