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Dealing with family

April 08, 2019

We have had a number of distressing calls from members lately who have been involved with detailed and expensive disputes with friends, family and ‘friends of friends’. It seems to be a trend that when doing business with friends that some of our members are softer with their paperwork and a little lax on their contract administration. It is our recommendation that when dealing with friends and family that it is essential to have your paperwork and contracts completed properly.

We outline below some tips to ensure that if you do work for family that you get paid and still have a family relationship at the end of the build:

  1. Do up a proper contract. One of our members did not do a contract with a family member as they were certain that they had negotiated the details and that they would never get into a dispute. This did not stop the family member making a formal complaint to the QBCC and then also suing in QCAT.
  2. Do variations – it may seem strange getting your friends or family to sign off on your conversations on site by doing a variation document, however so many disputes arise from variations that documenting them will save you some heartache (and dollars).
  3. If your family member wants to exclude works from the contract then mark this in the excluded items section of the contract. You run the risk of being held responsible for these works otherwise.
  4. Never ‘lend’ your license – one member got into a great deal of trouble when their close friend wanted to use their license but arrange all the trades themselves. This poor member is now in QCAT dealing with a number of issues (not least of which is a broken relationship with their former best friend).
  5. Never enter into a contract ‘for the bank’ when you know that it is not correct – this is also known as mortgage fraud and no friend should ask you to put your livelihood on the line by entering into a ‘dodgy’ contract for finance purposes.

If you have any queries, please contact our Workplace Advisers via