Insurance of your Trades Team.

Rachael Jenkins

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Finding good tradesmen can be tough - but finding the wrong tradesmen can be a nightmare! 

When hiring professionals to complete work on other people’s homes, you need to ensure that you do your due diligence and check their insurance. 

Once you have it on file, you also need to ensure they renew it when required, and that they are not working with expired insurance. 

Regular auditing or setting reminders will help you keep on top of this. 



 

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“Regular audits ensure your tradesmen insurance details are always current. It is best practice for any agency to avoid risking claims for negligence.”

This also goes for landlords engaging that “handy” relative to complete work for them. If they don’t have insurance, don’t be involved in asking them to complete any work. 

As a trained professional, you will be expected to know this - no exceptions. 

Why is this so important? Have a read of the scenario below. Risk is everywhere when it comes to maintenance.  Don’t put yourself at risk! 



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The Government Home Insulation Scheme cost $2.5 billion and saw over 90 house fires and 4 deaths* during 2011. 

Not an ideal outcome, but the worst part is that no one was held accountable. 

In Property Management, this is not the case. 

The Scenario: The tenant of a rental property reports maintenance that needs attention - a stair tread is reported aged and in need of repair. 

You contact the owner and instructions are to send his relative (for the purposes of this story, let’s call him Tom) around to fix it. He is an office worker, but he has renovated a few properties in his time and can get it done. 

You automatically get Tom’s details, fax him a work order & the work gets done. Everyone is happy.  Until…

The tenants have a get together at their home. All is going well - but then someone falls through the ‘fixed’ stair tread. 

Whilst the repair seemed sturdy in the initial stages, upon inspection by a licensed tradesman, it was found that not only did the tread need replacing, but the stringer holding the tread was rotten. What this meant, was no matter how well the new tread was installed, it was never going to hold as it had nothing solid to hold onto. 



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The guest who fell through the step suffered severe injuries & they sued for expensive medical bills and lost income.

You may feel the landlord should be held responsible for this, as it was his relative who completed the work. Unfortunately, the courts and insurance companies will be looking towards EVERYONE involved with repair.

Engaging a Tradesperson is part of your training to work as a Property Manager, and it is very clear that you need to seek qualifications and insurance details from all whom you engage to carry out work. 

Should the landlord insist on using his unqualified, uninsured friend/relative to complete repairs, fine. But stern written advice needs to be given to owners regarding any possible consequences, and in no way should you be involved in their engagement. 

This is a lesson that we all need to be reminded of regularly, especially during tough economic times. Everyone is looking to save money, but we cannot cut corners when it comes to property maintenance and safety is paramount.  


*Source: http://www.news.com.au/national/peter-ga...