Property: Are you at risk of a home improvement scam? Top 10 tips to spot ...

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PROPERTIES during the festive season can be at risk from home improvement scams - so how can you keep yoursef safe? The Trades’ Coach and bestselling author Alison Warner has revealed her top 10 hacks to beat home improvement scams after Trading Standards reported a rise in organised gangs targeting homeowners.

PUBLISHED: 20:26, Wed, Dec 4, 2019 | UPDATED: 20:54, Wed, Dec 4, 2019

Property owners are falling victim to “doorstep scammers.” The National Trading Standard has revealed that scammers often go from door to door offering cheap home improvement services related to solar panels, home insulation and other home improvement services. However, Alison Warner, author and Trades’ Coach knows how to spot the signs of a trader you can trust.

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Whether a disreputable roofer, a pushy boiler company or doorstep caller offering to clean gutters, here’s what to do before hiring a tradesperson this winter.

Make sure they have a landline

“It is very important that you deal with a company that has a fixed landline and office address,” said Alison.

“Anyone operating with just a mobile phone can simply disappear into the night and can’t be traced if something goes wrong,” she added.

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Property: Hacks to beat home improvement scamsProperty: Beat home improvement scams with these top tips from property expert (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

Property: Top 10 tips to beat home improvement scams“It is very important that you deal with a company that has a fixed landline and office address,” said Alison (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

Be observant

Before agreeing to home improvements from a stranger, Alison recommends taking a look at a few things before trusting them with the property, she said: “Does the company have a clearly branded van, branded clothing and well-presented staff who are clean and tidy? This is often the sign of a professional and courteous service.”

Pick someone with good administrative support

There is nothing more annoying than agreeing to terms with a tradesman and them not delivering on their word or completely disappearing into existence.

By making sure that a business has other points of contact in the office it could save a homeowner a lot of stress.

Alison said: “A business with a good back office function will save you a lot of stress.

“They should deal with your queries quickly and efficiently and come back to you when they say they will – this is a key sign of how well any operation is run.

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Trust your instinct

“How a company makes you feel is important,” said Alison. “Do you feel rushed into making a decision or unsure that a company has really taken the time to understand your needs? Listen

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