In this article we look at how to avoid disputes with your clients.
One of the biggest causes of disputes is lack of communication and in particular confirming agreements and instructions in writing. The following will assist you in avoiding disputes:
Check with your prospective client if Local Authorities approvals are required such as:
It would be advisable to ask your client to write to the local authority to check the above and have a letter on file from the local Authority, confirming one way or the other.
Other requirements may be:
Set out your estimate/quotation clearly in writing listing the following:
Work to be carried out.
Once you have been awarded the work it is advisable to have a pre-contract meeting with your client a week or so before the works commence to discuss the following:
Confirm agreements in writing
Now you are on site and started the work we would advise you to keep accurate records as follows:
If it is decided that there is a variation in the work and there is a cost implication this should be confirmed in writing to your client within 7 working days and stating any delays this has caused and any effect on your completion date.
Depending on the length of the contract period agree to hold regular meetings with your client to enable you to discuss some or all of the following:
Confirm these minutes in writing and issue to all relevant parties.
Always remember you are working on other person’s property so allow time to clean up at the end of each day and particularly at the end of the work.
Allow to repair any damage caused (this is where protection is important).
It would be advisable to take regular digital camera photos (including before commencement).
These photographs will enable you to record any existing damage at the property before you commence work.
Remember communication is the key to a successful project.