LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

QLD Australian Consumer Law - Who is Responsible for Unpaid Invoices?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by DLee, 18 July 2016.

  1. DLee

    DLee Member

    Joined:
    18 July 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I own a small cleaning business and perform regular maintenance services for a property management company. We have several unpaid invoices and have followed up endlessly with no clear answer. The property manager is saying it is up to the property owners to pay. I believe the majority of the work we have completed is being withheld from the existing tenants bond.

    Who exactly is responsible for paying these invoices under Australian Consumer Law and how do we go about collecting?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    257
    Who was the other party to the contract? Were they acting as an agent for other party/parties, or did you contract solely with the body corporate?

    Did you clean inside the apartments, or common areas or both?
     
  3. DLee

    DLee Member

    Joined:
    18 July 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Rod,

    They are mostly houses which the property management group manage on behalf of the owners. We have performed cleaning mostly internally. All contact is with the property management group.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    257
    Based on your last post it seems like your contract is with each property owner and you should invoice each owner. Have you been given the owners' details by the property management group? But it may not be straightforward if some owners deny any agreement with the property management group.
     
  5. DLee

    DLee Member

    Joined:
    18 July 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Rod. Our invoices are addressed to the property owners name c/- the property managment group. Unfortunately all we have are the owners names. Should I request more contact information from the property managment group so as we can send outstanding payment notices directly to the property owners?
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    257
    Yes.
     
  7. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

    Joined:
    28 April 2014
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    402
    Going only by what you have said above,
    missing facts missing, and unstated ifs, buts, and maybes not allowed for,
    it seems to me that it's the property manager with whom you have contracted.

    I suggest that the list of residents' names is a mere identifier of work sites,
    does not amount to a separate contract between you and each occupant.

    Send one consolidated bill to the property manager, with a letter of demand for payment.
    And when that is disputed, proceed against the property manager for a plain and ordinary unpaid business debt.
     
  8. DLee

    DLee Member

    Joined:
    18 July 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, Rod and Tim for your help.
     
  9. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    257
    As you can tell this is an unclear area of law. I suspect there's a principle of undisclosed agency at play here, while Tim believes it is a straight contract. Your problem is that you may not know what arrangement the Property Management Group (PMG) has with the owners. Without more information, including how things have been done in the past we are taking a bit of guess as to the situation.

    The advantages of Tim's approach is that they may pay (easier dealing with one party rather multiple), or they may give you more information (owners' details, details of their agency agreement or contract agreement with the owners). If the PMG don't co-operate in any way, you'll probably need to see a lawyer to work your next steps.

    Let us know how you go.
     

Share This Page

Loading...