Proservices maintenance services (PTY) LTD.

Questions you should ask your Contractor prior to the appointment

Where do you operate from?

Although this seems like an insignificant question, many contractors do not furnish this information even on their quotation documents. The reason for this is that they

operate from home or from some shady premises. A contractor that operates from non-company premises is normally referred to as a “bakkie builder” and one can easily assume that the contractor does not employ any full time staff and does not have the infrastructure or the finances to fund your project. Whereas a registered contractor that operates from companyowned premises has a commitment to his/her company and client or infrastructure that they have to maintain. The contractor is also easier to trace in the event of defaulting. Again, ask for an address and if possible ask if you can visit their premises.

When was your company established?

This is again an easy way of establishing the credibility of your contractor and their track record. What is the company’s history?

Can you provide traceable references?

It is important to confirm whether your contractor has had any past problems or completed similar projects by asking for three contactable references. Do not be shy to contact the references; it is your investment that is at stake. Another good ploy is to ask for the addresses of the references to keep on record.

Do you make use of Sub-contractors or do you employ your own staff?

Again, this will establish the contractors’ ability to manage the project. The questions you need to ask are: Who will manage my site? Will a competent person be in charge while you are not on site? Will they be suitably clothed in proper identifiable coveralls? In the event of sub-contractors, it is important to obtain all records between the main contractor and the subcontractors. In the event that the main contractor is not paying the sub-contractor, you may find yourself in costly litigation from the sub-contractor. Ensure that the main contractor has agreements in place between himself and the sub-contractor and that you have copies of the agreements for record purposes. It is also preferable to sign an indemnity with the main contractor indemnifying you from being held accountable for any costs relating to the sub-contractor in the event of non-payment of the sub-contractor by the main contractor.

Do you have Contractors’ insurance?

This is very important and it is advisable to ask for a copy of the insurance and a letter of good standing from the insurance company stating that the policy is valid.

Are you registered with Workers’ Compensation?

Again, this is very important. Ask the contractor to provide a current certificate of good standing for your records in the event of injury or death on your property – this will cover you from any liability that may arise.

Are you registered with SARS?

As above, it is advisable to ensure that you obtain a copy of his current certificate of good standing for your records. An honest contractor will naturally be up to date with his VAT and taxes (PAYE). The receiver can hold you accountable for his/her personal taxes on the amount tendered if it can be proved that you were his/her sole source of income.

Do you have clearance certificates from Workers’ Compensation and SARS?

As dealt with above.

Are you registered with the MBA or any other professional body?

Paid up membership with a reputable professional body will provide for additional peace of mind should a dispute be raised with the contractor.