Insights / blog

October 22, 2013

Principal Contractors and Registered Providers approach to Defects and Repairs.

I had a very interesting discussion with a client today…

As Principal Contractors for some major Registered Providers (RP’s) in the UK, they hadn’t re-charged for any defects or repairs over a 3 year period prior to using our defect and repair resolution software.

In my past experience the RP’s that I had worked with were a very reasonable bunch. If the defect / repair was caused by tenant damage or mis-use, they would have no issue covering the costs for this for the Principal Contractor, providing you could show some evidence (Handover Documents / Key Release forms , photography etc).

During my discussions with many Principal Contractors recently, they couldn’t quantify how many reported items were in fact their responsibility. I got the distinct impression that they were struggling to respond and repair as per the agreed terms in the contract and hadn’t the time or tools available to drill down to the respective defects and repairs root cause.

It was a common theme however that the Home User Packs / Guides / Documents provided for plot handover would often be misplaced by the tenant or taken from the new property by the RP representative to their HQ to be copied.

I have also spoken to many Sub-Contractors for Principal Contractors who have attended a typical Emergency call-out on a Friday or Saturday night.

Lets run quickly through the order of events here:

So the Principal Contractor receives an Emergency call from the RP Customer services team for a ‘total loss of hot water’ or similar from one of the properties that they recently handed over.

The Principal Contractor instructs the respective Sub-Contractor or Maintenance team to attend urgently.

The Sub-Contractor or Maintenance team duly oblige, travel to the property only to discover that the appliance had not been switched on.  The Sub-Contractor will show the tenant how to switch the appliance on and most likely provide a brief demonstration of how it works.

The sub-contractor will then Invoice the Principal Contractor (justifiably) with an out of hours call-out charge.

I suspect in the majority of cases the Quantity Surveyor for this project will sign the invoice off after a couple of weeks without much analysis.

The sub-Contractor receives the payment, the RP Customer service team close the case and the tenant is happy.

A Managing Director of a large Principal Contractor used the phrase ‘it gets lost in the ether’ to describe this regular occurrence in his business.

The bottom line is that Principal Contractors too readily absorb costs for defects and repairs that are not their responsibility.

If this scenario sounds very familiar to you, contact us today for a Demonstration or visit www.clixifix.com for further information on how this software will deliver lower costs and higher customer satisfaction for your business.

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