Do I have to disclose my Contractor Invoices?

by Readers Question

14:39 PM, 4th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Do I have to disclose my Contractor Invoices?

Make Text Bigger
Do I have to disclose my Contractor Invoices?

A client, who I manage a property for, has requested a copy of my contractors direct invoices to me for her accountant.dislosure

I advised her the statements I provide are sufficient for her accountant and for tax purposes as they detail the cost she has been charged for the repairs. They are given from my limited company and have the registered company number on them.

My contractors invoices are addressed to me, are for my business purposes and are of no relevance to her whatsoever. What if I had done the work myself and there was no third party invoice?

In the past I have been burned with clients contacting my contractors directly and self managing going forward, benefiting from the relationship I had built up with the contractor. I cannot blame the contractor, as the client who approached them offered to pay more than my negotiated rates with them as they were saving on the management fee! I only found out as he accidentally invoiced me for a job!

I have now found new contractors and work closely with them and sure it would not be a problem going forward, but I feel strong armed into providing my invoices by using the excuse “my accountant needs them”.

Can I refuse? How far can I stand my ground? Surely documents relating to my business can be kept confidential?

Many thanks

Hemi



Comments

Stan Barlow TEE LTD

9:24 AM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Without going into to much detail I would recommend the following [as we have been offering a service to Landlords & agents for over 25-years]. This includes Residential, Commercial & Holiday Lets.
We in addition to our core [electrical business] offer a one-stop one call service for all trades and maintenance requirements. We have to include a service charge to cover a 24/7 phone answering system ect. The actual details are set up with our clients on their needs. For instance on a Saturday at 5pm when someone arrives at their holiday let they may have an electrical or plumbing emergency or another problem they may need to be addressed immediately or the next day? We have even had the visitor arrive and been unable to access their accommodation. If you want more [private] information please email me on stan@teeltd.co.uk

Steve From Leicester

9:34 AM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

If the contractors invoices are addressed to your company then your company is legally responsible for paying the contractor. You should, in turn bill your client (the landlord) and on request provide him / her with an invoice from your company.

Alternatively, if the contractors invoice is addressed to the client, care of your agency, this means that the landlord is ultimately responsible for paying the contractor (although with his / her agreement you might facilitate the payment by deducting it from the rent and passing it to the contractor). In this scenario the landlord has every right to see the invoice from the contractor.

Either way, whether it comes from your company or the contractor the landlord is entitled to have sight of an invoice for work that they have paid for.

Hemi Tanna

9:39 AM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve From Leicester" at "05/05/2016 - 09:34":

Ask invoices from contractors come to my company, addressed to the company and paid for by the company. I bill it on, but the original contractor invoice is to me not the landlord

Penniless Landlord

9:39 AM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Depending on the nature of the work, I'd expect the landlord to get a copy of the invoice from the contractor possibly for warranty/guarantee protection if nothing else.

For things like gas safety checks, the certificates will have the contractors details anyway.

My wife uses an agent to manage her properties, but insists that she (or rather me) organises works to be done so we can use recommended and preferred people at a known cost rather than an inflated cost the agent charges. For example our gas safe checks are done at £50 per property by a qualified engineer, whereas the agent wanted to charge £80 per property.

Karon Marsden

10:15 AM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Lynham" at "05/05/2016 - 09:14":

I agree Mark. I also send a quote to the landlord from the contractor prior to any work being done.

Adrian Jones

10:39 AM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rachel Hodge" at "05/05/2016 - 09:17":

Seems a little odd to me, hence my post.

Barbara Gwyer

10:59 AM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

If your problem is that you do not want your client to know your contractors' contact details, could you send copies of the invoices with these blanked out?

Rob Crawford

12:25 PM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Hemi, this is one of those issues that can easily be blown our of proportion and you end up loosing a customer and potentially getting a bad name. I would invite your client to your offices and show her/him the supplier invoices against those that you have charged. Assuming all is iaw the agreed terms of business you should have no issue with this. As you stated, these are invoiced to your business and you do not need to hand over to your clients accountant. I would as for a letter from the accountant that explains the reasoning behind the request. The only receipts that I forward to landlords are those related to a guarantee (white goods, insulation etc). The accountant does need to be able to define "repair", "replacement" and "new" and some times these terms can be interpreted differently. You need to know the reason behind the request.

Rob Crawford

12:39 PM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Additionally, if you do decide to forward contractor invoices to your landlords and this was not detailed in the terms of business you need to consider an admin charge for doing so (photo copying/scanning and posting/e-mailing, duplicating etc all takes time!). You may wish to explain this to your landlord.

Andrew Tokely

13:29 PM, 5th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I always receive a copy of any invoices for work done by contractors on my property. I think this is good transparency and ensures that the agent is not marking up the work that is done. Helps to build a relationship with the client.

1 2 3 4

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

29% of landlords report tenant demand growing or booming Q3 2019

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More