Wise Up Wednesday: Please Don’t Get It This wrong!

As a Specialist Contractor, you are sometimes going to get things wrong, but please don’t get it as wrong as Fred [not his real name] did!

Now before you start criticising me, I know that most Specialist Contractors don’t get it this wrong, but it’s worth sharing this to illustrate a few important points.

And those points are that;

  • you need to know exactly who it is you are actually contracting with
  • you need to get your contract terms right from the outset
  • you need to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done and
  • you need to comply with the terms of the contract

It’s Your Decision

Of course it’s entirely your choice as to whether or not you rush headlong into doing the job without checking thes points out, but if you don’t check, then this is the kind of advice you might receive;

“Hi Fred [as I said not his real name of course]

Thank you for your email. 

I have spent some time looking at what you have sent over and what you have said in your emails.There are a number of serious issues which you need to consider carefully;

  • There appear to be not one, but two separate contracts which are between your company Company A and Mr Bloggs company Company B. Even if you were successful in an action he could easily liquidate that company and you would be left with nothing. [Fred thought he was in contract with Company C, the parent company of Company B and the one with all the assets]
  • Potentially you could adjudicate (that needs further investigation), but even if you could and you won, Company A (the company you set up for this job) is a company of straw and they could resist enforcement on that basis, as adjudication is only temporarily binding. [Fred thought having a separate company to do this job was a good idea]
  • You say that; “the work ended up being completely different to what was required” but do not refer me to variation instructions, and the like. You need to be able to deal with all of the variations and prove your entitlement in accordance with the terms of the contract. [Fred had done very little to record any of the numerous changes that had occurred]
  • As regards the terms of the contract(s), they appear to be based on the JCT Minor Works form but it is incomplete – where are the Conditions? [the contract was a cobbled together mess]
  • You describe your payment issue and say “…which finally resulted in our sub-sub-contractor refusing to go back to site”. [Unfortunately that is a breach of contract for which Fred’s company is responsible].
  • In your email you say; “we gave them the option of paying for what had been done to date, then we would return to site to complete the work”. [Unfortunately Fred’s company had no contractual entitlement to issue such an ultimatum]
  • And you also say; “They refused to pay all outstanding invoices so we wouldn’t go back to site, and they are now claiming we are in breach of contract”. [Unfortunately Fred’s company is indeed in breach of contract by not completing the works].

All in all, my view would be that you face considerable obstacles and costs in securing any further payment from Company B and I would be inclined to try and appeal to Mr Blogg’s better judgement and see if you can persuade him to pay at least some of the costs which you can demonstrate to him.

I am sorry I cannot be any more positive about the potential outcome but you could easily spend a few thousand pounds on fees which effectively get you nowhere.”

Please Don’t Be Like Fred

There is no reason to get it this wrong!

All these issues resulted in Fred’s company not getting paid.

Ensure you know what to do to ensure that you don’t end up like Fred and make sure you do get paid by downloading your Free Report: “How To Get Paid”

Take Action

Remember, if you do run into any kind of contractual or payment problem, it will not get better with time!

You must take appropriate action as soon as possible.

Do not leave things until it’s too late.

Feel Free To Call Us

Because we only work with Specialist Contractors you can be sure that we know the kind of problems you face, and the solutions that work best.

So, whatever your problem, please feel free to give us a call on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com for some initial free advice.

I sincerely hope to speak with you soon.

Best regards


P.S. If you’re not sure what to do, or just want a second opinion, please give us a call on 01773 712116, or email info@streetwisesubbie.com

P.P.S. Please forward this to all your team and all Specialist Contractors that you know. It’s true what they say – there is strength in numbers. Help us to help ALL Specialist Contractors.

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