CHOICE membership

Tradies not invoicing for job done!


#1

I recently employed a plumber to fix my toilet. A simple job and reasonable fee negotiated. This was now three weeks ago and I have still not received the invoice for payment (I was not able to be home and pay on the day so had a family member let him in). I have asked twice for him to send me the invoice but have received nothing. I would like to pay the bill and am concerned about the amount of time it’s taking. How long am I supposed to wait? Is there a set time period after which one cannot invoice a client? Has this happened to anyone else? We did agree to a fee and I have this in writing via text. Do I need to be concerned about any issues with the fees or invoicing later on? Would appreciate some advice, thank you.


#2

A week is common but I have done business with one who only sent out accounts monthly. If it is coming by email check your spam folder as many invoices from new email origins can end up there. If he emailed it and it went into spam he would not know that and expect you had received it.

As long as you can establish you have been asking for an invoice with the details for paying (notes with time of contacts, emails, SMS, etc) beyond checking spam I would not be worried until the month has passed. It would be ‘unusual’ to not receive an invoice after a month.

Unless you need a tax invoice for your records you might ask if you can pay by card over the phone if that makes you more comfortable. You have the SMS quote as evidence if an incorrect charge is then made.


#3

Don’t worry @peslis99. Why are you concerned about not getting an invoice?

There is no time requirement as far as I know. It doesn’t matter when you get the invoice vis-á-vis the agreed quote. The fee can not be raised just because the invoice has not been delivered to you.

To add to what @TheBBG said: I have had invoices take over a month. Some sole trader tradies are too busy working to do their invoices. The one in my case did invoices when the weather or other circumstances meant that they couldn’t work.


#4

I have had the same.

I suspect that many tradies don’t issue their own invoices but pay a bookkeeper or someone else (partner or family member for example) to issue them. If this is done, they may wait until such time they have a few before commissioning a second or third party to issue on their behalf.

In some ways it is good that it is not the other way around…a tradie chancing you for payment.

That would constitute a written agreement of the fee for works performed. The only change should be if there was an agreed change in scope of works (such as additional work which was needed above and beyond that which was originally quoted).

Just be patient and the invoice will arrive in due course. Also, if you are worried, put the quoted fee aside so that it isn’t spent so that it is available to make payment when the involve is received.


#5

I had my alarm upgraded in February 2019 in preparation for the NBN and have been chasing for an invoice for that and the increase in monitoring costs ever since. The monitoring fee is annual and due last week - but no invoice in spite of bringing it to the owner’s attention on multiple occasions. Maybe $1,000 all up?

I don’t understand how businesses can keep going like this, but apparently @peslis99’s experience is more common than many of us could imagine.


#6

I had the case of a electrician who installed new circuits and a stove last year. The invoice was creative. The time and materials were both inflated quite a bit so I queried it in writing. I did not refuse to pay I asked for the account to be made more in line with reality. The job was done properly, I should have paid, I felt it was right to pay, but not that much. No reply. No reminder, no adjusted invoice, no argument, nothing. What now?


#7

About two years ago, after obtaining council approval for the removal of two fig trees from our yard, the council insisted that we engage a licensed aborist.
I obtained three quotes, and went with the one in the middle, cost-wise, as they seemed the most professional
Included in their quote was free collar-cut rectification of a poorly-executed emergency broken limb removal on a grevillea.
The fig trees were quickly and professionally removed, but the collar-cut fix was not done. The arborist said he had neglected to bring the correct chainsaw.
I chased the company three times over the next couple of months to ask when they might come back. Each time they promised to get to it within a few days.
After that I gave up. I never received an invoice for the work.
A couple of months back, the grevillea fell over at around 1am one morning ( narrowly missing the carport, but totally destroying our Hills Hoist ). Our neighbour had, without approval, trimmed off all the branches overhanging his side of the fence which had left it very unbalanced.
I doubt the arborist will ever return, but he’ll get a surprise if he does. :roll_eyes:


#8

Does your neighbour need your approval to trim limbs off trees on his/her/their side of the fence? I thought that had changed in most States.

Qld:

If you have a neighbour’s tree hanging over your land, you can:

  • exercise the common law right of abatement—your right to remove overhanging branches and roots to your boundary line
  • decide whether to return the lopped branches, roots or fruit to your neighbour, or dispose of them yourself. You do not have to return anything you trim from the neighbour’s tree but you may do so.

When exercising the right of abatement, take care to comply with any applicable tree or vegetation protection orders.

WA:

Can I cut branches or roots that are encroaching onto my property?
You’re legally entitled to cut and remove any tree branches or roots that encroach over the boundary of your neighbour’s land and into your land, up to the point of where your property ends. If you cut anything on your neighbour’s property, you are liable for that as property damage. By law, you don’t have to give notice to your neighbour before taking this action. However, it’s advisable to talk to them and let them know what you intend to do. Your local council may also have tree preservation laws in place for certain kinds of trees and you should check with them before doing anything.

Vic:

A neighbour’s tree is overhanging my yard. What can I do?

Firstly, check with your local council, to see whether the tree is protected or subject to an environmental overlay. If it is, you need a permit to cut it back. If it’s not protected, or you have a permit, you can cut back any leaves, branches or roots overhanging the boundary line. This is known as the right of abatement, and is done at your cost, unless otherwise agreed. Unless you agree otherwise, you must return the branches & leaves to your neighbour as they remain their property.

It’s best to engage your neighbour along the way. Take the opportunity to explain the laws. Tell them your plans and where you’ll put the cut branches. This should hopefully prevent disagreements down the track and may even give you a better result in the long run.

SA:

Affected neighbour removes the nuisance

Whenever tree roots or branches have become a nuisance by growing across the boundary, the affected neighbour is entitled to cut them off at the boundary line. This is called the right of ‘abatement’. It is a self-help remedy - taking practical action to remove the nuisance. It does not arise until there is a nuisance.

NSW:

Can I cut and remove any problem branches and roots?

If the problem branches or roots are spreading onto your property, you are entitled to cut them back. You are not entitled to prune more than 10 per cent of the tree and if the tree is protected you will need to get Council approval before you prune. Matters to consider before talking to your neighbour about the problem:

  • you could ask your neighbour to cut back the branches, rather than doing it yourself. As the branches are hanging over your property, your neighbour would be legally responsible for any damage caused to your property in the process of removing them.

  • you could get a professional to do the work, pruning can be dangerous and permanent damage can occur if it is not done properly. However, this can be expensive. You could ask your neighbour to pay for it or share in the cost, but even though their tree is causing the problem, they are not legally obliged to pay for the work unless they have agreed to do this.

  • if negotiations are not successful and your neighbour refuses to pay for all or part of the work, you can consider legal action to recover costs on the basis that the branches were causing a legal nuisance.

  • if legal action is something you are considering it may be preferable at first instance to have your solicitor write a letter to your neighbour clarifying the parties legal responsibilities.

  • if you decide to prune the tree yourself and do it carelessly, your neighbour could sue you for damage to the tree or for damage caused by falling branches.

If you are in NSW you may be able to get the cost of your hoist and removal of the tree paid for by your neigbour. I guess that would also apply in any State. In NSW it also stipulates an amount of trimming they are allowed to do and if they exceeded the 10% you could also mount a case for compensation. I guess it depends on your neighbourly relations and whether the possible angst is worth it.


#9

In this instance, yes, but I really meant that he didn’t have council approval. The branches removed were roughly a third of the total canopy, so well beyond 10%. The tree was already there when we bought our home, and I estimate the tree was 40 years or older.

I trimmed a few Murraya down to a height of around 3m, as we saw that they deny the same neighbour access to winter sunshine. The neighbour complained that they looked bare afterwards. Now we are letting them grow to whatever height they can. :grin:


#10

We have tried to have them attend mediation without success. You are correct in that we weighed up the angst of taking legal action ( and decided against it ). We replaced the busted-up Hills Hoist with an Australian-made Austral rotary hoist.


#11

Yeah sometimes it is easier on your sanity to just endure and move on. Fence line feuds can be very damaging to your financial, mental and physical wellbeing and security. Thankfully you can ignore the neighbours most of the time and just do the bare minimum required to keep the law. The neighbourly friend part is not a “required by law” onus of sharing a fence :slight_smile:


#12

Insert shared empathy emoji, :disappointed_relieved:

There is a common thread in the Qld Govt advice,

It is always best to keep on good terms with you neighbour and resolve any potential tree issues between you before they get out of hand. This will be quicker, cheaper and less stressful than taking legal action. Our step-by-step guide to resolving tree and fence disputes can help.

If all else fails you may be able to recover up to $300 from your neighbour towards your costs. Reality is a bit more complex, as you have suggested. And if you happen to live in another state per your example.

Outside the typical urban block (perhaps 1,000m2 up here) It may pay to consult the relevant local council, and state legislation including any separate environmental legislation. That’s prior to seeking any remedy, and clarifying land titles and planning permissions.

With 11 physically adjoining property titles (small residential acreage lots) each neighbour has a different view of what they can do and what I need to do. Having more than 4ha the residential style regulations don’t apply on our side, which is not easily accepted by some. You can only do your best.

Of course on the other side there are two environmental and one endangered species map overlays. Much more of a consideration than arguing with neighbours. You can’t choose your neighbours, but they can’t change the overlays and applicable legal obligations. The latter change with the seasons!

To stray back on topic, we have used several contractors. The liability comes back to the land owner for compliance. Relying on a tree arborist may be good advice, but not protection from prosecution if they do break any regulations. Incidentally the locals here are very keen to get paid just in case it turns out you cut down the wrong trees some time soon after!