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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,398

    Default When they go beyond the brief

    How do people handle it when they set instructions for tradespeople, but then they exceed those instructions and land you with a much, much larger bill than you were expecting?

    I've just had this with a handyman and a cleaning company I hired to finish off some tidying on my Bookabach property. With what they've charged, I would have been FAR better off to cancel the booking and spend the long weekend doing it myself.
    My blog. From personal experience.
    http://statehousinginnz.wordpress.com/

  2. #2

    Default

    If you didn't authorise work then you have no obligation to pay for it.

    Just like the guy at the traffic lights who washes your windscreen then asks for payment. Your payment is not mandatory... they often get upset if you don't pay them but they have no legal standing to make a claim for payment

  3. #3

    Default

    I'd negotiate some middle ground based on benefit gained. You doing it yourself doesn't cost $40 - $60 per hour in labour.
    Free online Property Investment Course from iFindProperty, a residential investment property agency.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    The cleaning company has just sent their bill.
    76m2 3-bedroomed house plus some outdoor tidying. $900. No, that's not a typo. $900.
    My blog. From personal experience.
    http://statehousinginnz.wordpress.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,795

    Default

    Do you have a breakdown of the work? - how many people did the work and how many hours were they there - how many man/hours involved?
    Two people for one day for $900 would mean $56 hr.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    The cleaners reckoned it was 30 hours of labour @ $30 per hour.

    The handyman should have been about a day's work: grouting three very small tiled splashbacks, plus putting on three missing tiles, painting the scotia in the bathroom, plus three window surrounds and a door. No painting prep required. The handyman has billed me for 19 hours @ $30 per hour. (Plus the day he spent working beside me which was another nine hours.)

    In total they've billed me for 58 hours. I could have done it easily myself over the long weekend.
    My blog. From personal experience.
    http://statehousinginnz.wordpress.com/

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sidinz View Post
    The cleaning company has just sent their bill.
    76m2 3-bedroomed house plus some outdoor tidying. $900. No, that's not a typo. $900.
    what was the scope of work you agreed to?

    Is it possible they misinterpreted you instructions?

    is there written communication between you and the cleaning company?

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick G View Post
    I'd negotiate some middle ground based on benefit gained. You doing it yourself doesn't cost $40 - $60 per hour in labour.
    why negotiate a middle ground?

    if I go mow the neighbors lawn while they're on holiday after they asked me to collect their mail then go and bill them $250 for lawn mowing my should they negotiate and offer me $100?

  9. #9

    Default

    That's not the right analogy, they were hired to clean and apparently did too much cleaning.

    I've got a team ripping through my place right now, they're doing a whole bunch of extra stuff based on what they find. If they had to call me, get approval and then go/no-go nothing would get done and I would be teaching my team not to think outside the square.

    Maybe the place needed that much time on it to get to a professional standard. Or by cleaning only the parts you asked the rest looked bad.

    If you have a very limited budget for an activity you need to set that out explicitly - "Please spend no more than 15 hours on this job and complete the items in this order, which are a, b, c, call me if you believe this will go over budget". Or, as you said, DIY the bits you can and bring in pro's for the rest.

    Look, if you have written instructions somewhere then you can probably dispute it and you might even win.
    Last edited by Nick G; 04-02-2017 at 09:01 AM.
    Free online Property Investment Course from iFindProperty, a residential investment property agency.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,127

    Default

    Nice post Nick. I too have been bitten when I haven't given explicit instructions on jobs that needed them when using new people. If I'm using a regular I know I don't need to give the instruction as they already know my standards etc. Anyone new needs more management.

    Sidinz, on the plus side I guess the property won't need a huge clean again for awhile.

    cheers,

    Donna
    PropertyTalkBlogs - property articles hub




 

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