Welcome to Unitcare

Maintenance: Contractors

In this chapter we look at engaging contractors.


It is imperative the trades person your group uses is both properly licenced and insured. Using an unlicenced trades person to do a job that requires a licence is not only illegal but can pose a risk to your group.  There are good reasons for requiring a licence to do certain types of work, so make sure the person you choose has the correct one and that it is up to date.

Here are some examples of jobs that require a licenced contractor…

  • building
  • plumbing
  • electrical work
  • gas works

Click on logo to check if a contractor has a licence and the range of work they can undertake.

Australian Business Number:

An ABN is a number the Australian Taxation Office allocates to a business entity, such as contractors, who to deal with the ATO, and with other business entities such as Strata & Community Corporations.  It is not compulsory to have an ABN, but a business entity will need an ABN

  • to allow it to register for GST
  • to avoid having amounts withheld from any payments made to that business entity

All businesses, including body corporates, are required to withhold 46.5% of any payments they make to another business unless an ABN is quoted.  The 46.5% is the prescribed withholding rate as at 2008.

Click to check a contractor for a Tax Office ABN.


We strongly recommend that all contractors engaged by a body corporate produce evidence of insurance.

An uninsured contractor puts your group and its owners at risk of being sued should the contractor cause an injury to others, suffer an injury themselves, or damage property.

Best Practice

Designate an officer to vet all contractors.

Only seek quotes from contractors who have been vetted.


Obtaining quotes is a regular activity for some strata corporations.


Calling for quotes.

Has your group finalised a list of the works required (the committee could do this)?

If it is a major job, such as painting, has a professional specification been obtained?

Has a short list of contractors been selected, do you only need one?

Does the short list of contractors hold the required insurance, licence & ABN?

Issue a written request to the contractor(s) that includes…

Details of works required

Plan of the group

Contact person’s name and phone number(s)

Work orders:

Once works and a contractor are agreed the Corporation should issue a formal written advice to the contractor – a “work order”.


Issuing work order.

Are there any winning quotes to attach such as painting, structural works, roof repairs?

Confirm on the work order any agreed conditions &the price including a start date.

Best Practice

Only seek quotes from contractors who have been vetted.

Always issue a written quote request or work order. Attach supporting documents as needed.