If you elect to rent your property through a letting agent on a full service agency agreement, most of your problems of finding good tradesmen are solved because the agent will handle this for you. However it is an expensive option and these tips are for those landlords that either choose a let only agency agreement or choose to let their property privately.
If you are using one, ask your letting agent
If you are using an agent on a let only basis and have a reasonably good relationship with them, it's a good idea to ask for a few recommendations of reliable plumbers and electricians. When you call the tradesmen mention that you are a client of the particular letting agents and they have recommended them.
Always get estimates of course but bear in mind that it is often very difficult for builders to give a really fixed price for maintenance and repairs. Be wary of tradesmen that quote a low fixed amount – often this will be revised by them once they turn up, claiming (actually quite rightly) that they could not know in advance exactly how difficult access was going to be etc.
Local good tradesmen guides
These are very useful as , although the tradesmen do have to pay to advertise in them, they usually have to supply a couple of references from previous customers. In the case of reputable guides, the owners will remove a listing if there are enough justifiable complaints agains one of the tradesmen and women listed. One that I tend to rely on is Which Trusted Traders,
as their vetting procedures are very strong. However you will need to be a member of Which to be able to use this guide.