The banning of a fraudulent electrician has prompted PM figures to highlight important precautions to avoid dodgy repair people.
According to NSW Fair Trading, “serial fraudster” Charbel Khoury has been banned from being associated with any homebuilding works until 2018, after Parramatta Local Court found him guilty of “ripping off” consumers.
Leading Property Managers of Australia executive director Bob Walters said although it is rare for tradespeople to exploit PMs and their clients, they need to be wary.
“In engaging new tradespeople, PMs should ensure they are fully insured and carry the appropriate licence for the type of work they are doing,” Mr Walters told Residential Property Manager.
“PMs should then check the renewal of their insurances and licences annually.”
Mr Walters said he would also urge PMs to ask any tradespeople they are considering using for references from satisfied customers, and then have them checked.
“No PM can protect themselves 100 per cent from this ever happening to them, but by following what I have said above they can minimise the risk,” he said.
Coronis property management director Jodi Ford told Residential Property Manager it is paramount the right questions are asked when dealing with tradespeople.
“Any tradespeople have to supply a copy of their current licence and a copy of their public liability insurance,” she said.
“We also ask for references and trial them over a period of time to see how well they respond to enquiries, whether they clean up after themselves, if they invoice quickly and if they are friendly.”
Ms Ford said their tradespeople are a part of the family because they reflect on their business and high standards.
“Choosing the right people means you won’t have to take call after call from unhappy owners and unhappy tenants who are still waiting after a week for a tradesperson to turn up, or complaining about a half-finished job,” she said.
“It really pays to think about what liability issues you are leaving yourself and the owners open to.”
Ms Ford said it is also important to treat them professionally and with respect.
“Pay them weekly or fortnightly, depending on what’s best for them. Essentially, look after them, and they’ll look after you – and you’ll have a win-win partnership for life,” she said.
[Related: 3 mistakes that lose you tenants]