9 March 2020
All properties need maintenance from time to time, which is why property owners turn to the expertise of professional contractors. Whatever the scope of work required, the key issue of the appointment and control of contractors remain the same.
Here are a few things to consider before hiring a contractor to carry out works:
Find out about contractors who have successfully been employed by others. Ask the contractor to provide references and, if possible, physically look at some of their work.
Ask for evidence of qualifications or ensure that they have membership of an appropriate professional body.
Ensure that all contractors employed by you have appropriate insurance cover in place to protect you should they cause damage to property or injury to a resident or visitor.
Consider working times, the use of radios, storage of materials, and waste arrangements. All of these things can cause considerable nuisance to residents if not managed properly.
Insist that the contractor undertakes an assessment of the site before any work is undertaken. This will ensure that the contractor knows what equipment will be required to complete the work. Don’t be tempted to offer the use of your equipment in order to save costs. Should a contractor be injured using equipment that you have provided, you may be considered negligent and therefore liable if you are unable to demonstrate that the piece of equipment was in sound condition.
Permits to Work
For certain types of work, consider issuing a Permit to Work. For example, where a maintenance job requires the application of heat, a Hot Work permit should be issued to the contractor. This states that day that the work is to be carried out, the precautions that are to be followed and the procedure for signing off the work at the end of the day. For more information on permits to work, please visit the HSE website.
For more complex maintenance work, consider employing the services of a building professional such as a chartered surveyor to not only assess what work is required, but also to project manage the work from start to finish. They may be able to recommend a competent contractor, will be able to review and approve the contractor’s specification, and check the work at the end of the contract.
For more information, get in touch with:
Keith Marlow, Dip CII, TechIOSH, CBCI
020 7330 8756
Click here for more information.