How to find good tradespeople

How to Find Good Tradespeople for Your Rental Property


Landlords need to know how to find reliable tradespeople to maintain and repair their rental properties. When you find a great plumber or decorator, it’s a great feeling. You know your property is safe with them. 

But if you need to find someone new, the prospect can be daunting. No one wants to pay over the odds for a sub-par job. Luckily, there are some tried and tested ways to get in touch with good tradespeople, even if you don’t live in the area. 

We’re going to break these up into two groups: online and offline. 

How to Find Good Tradespeople Online

Just like finding tenants, most people now begin their search for tradespeople online. Here’s where you should look. 

Trader websites

There are many trades websites to explore. Two of the most popular are:

They allow you to read reviews from previous customers to get a sense of what the trader is like to work with. This feedback is very useful, but as always, keep in mind other trust factors, such as professional certificates. 

Certification Sites and Registers

Some trades require traders to be certified to operate. Others have optional schemes that ensure a minimum level of competence. You can usually check the sites of these schemes to find a register of trustworthy traders.

The broadest such site is the Government’s TrustMark site, which covers every trade from air conditioning to window installation. 

For gas work, you can go straight to the Gas Safe register. Although the register is best known for letting you check whether gas engineers have the mandatory Gas Safe certificate, you can also do a location-based search for an engineer near your property. And, of course, you know they will be Gas Safe. 

The local authority website

The website of the local authority that your property is in is likely to have a list of approved traders. You can find the council area the property is in using this postcode checker.

Consumer sites

Which?, the consumer watchdog, has its own trusted trader scheme. Every operator is checked and assessed by Which?. Which? are known for their unbiased and straightforward assessment of all consumer issues, and don’t let people use their logo lightly. 

Ask the OpenRent Community for tips in your area

Want a more personal approach? Why not ask the thousands of landlords who use the OpenRent Community forum for advice. These experienced landlords love to share their tips and help others.

Connect with thousands of landlords on our Community forum

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Offline Ways to Find Good Tradespeople

The Internet, of course, does not have a monopoly on useful tips for finding an electrician. This is especially true of tradespeople — a sector better known for their beautiful plastering than beautiful websites! Here are some old school, ‘real world’ ways to meet reliable, professional tradies. 

Ask other landlords

If you know other landlords in your area, they can be a great source of knowledge and information. Why not ask them if they have any recommendations? Even if they don’t, they may know someone who knows someone. Landlords like to help each other out — and your fellow landlord will understand your concerns and priorities. 

If you don’t know any landlords, you can meet dozens of landlords at your next local NRLA meeting. This is the National Residential Landlord Association. They run regular meetings across England and Wales and offer some great advice and tips.

Check with your neighbours 

If you know any people who live on the same street as your rental property, it is well worth asking them for a recommendation. This ensures the trader will be active in the right area. You can also ask your own neighbours or people you see having similar work performed on their property. 

Speak to letting agents

If you’re really stuck, and live far away from the property, you could ask a local estate agent if they know any good tradespeople to recommend. If you let them think you may use their services in future when selling the property, they are sure to avoid foisting a cowboy trader on you! 


Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for Colin3 Colin3 says:

    i am a time served joiner(4 years),. Best way to find a good tradesman is to look at their work, neat brickwork , neatly cut timber are they always seen at the job, ask the home owner, do they seem to be all young lads ( no experience). Take no notice of a load of" belonging to trade associations " it does not mean they are any good. I have been a builder for 50 years and my sons have been my apprentices never advertised , no website, no business cards Only word of mouth. NEVER taken money up front. Never pay upfront but DO pay in stage payments ,that is only fair Ask the householder, ask around,

  2. Check a Trade and rated People are possibly the very worst place to go to find a good tradesmen. Despite what they say, they do not vet tradesmen, do not check addresses and allow tradesmen to sell profiles with good reviews, along with the associated phone number. They do not verify the addresses given and when something goes wrong, you’re screwed. Nextdoor.com is even worse with most recommendations coming from friends and family of unqualified tradesmen who are often criminals.

    Only employ tradesmen with a proper website and domain name email address, a limited company set up, insurance etc and check their home address to see how many other people allegedly live here to ensure it’s not a dodgy address

  3. I’ve also had a very poor experience with people from these websites.

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This article is not intended to form legal or investment advice. Investments in property are not guaranteed and can decrease in value as well as increase.

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