When we engage a contractor to do some work on or around our homes, we are inviting an unknown agency into our sanctuary. We do not know who this person is, we only know that they are advertising their services on the basis of their proficiency with the task required. The contractor may or may not be the kind of person you would wish having access to your domestic abode. Unfortunately, in the times that we live in, we cannot assume that every human being is a safe bet to be on your turf, where your nearest and dearest abide.
How to Do a Background Check on Contractors Working in Your Home
Understanding this twenty first century reality, we then need to know how to do a background check on contractors working in your home. Where do we begin? The first thing I always do with any individual or organisation is I Google their name. Living in the digital age means that digital records or footprints are often in existence. Social media has compounded this footprint, with many businesses having multiple pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the like. Ostensibly they have used these platforms to promote their businesses, but they are also great places to discover customer feedback, both good and bad. Scan the Internet for all traces of your intended target, but make sure that you have the correct person or business. The devil is in the detail; don’t jump on the first instance of identifying the name. Check and recheck that you have the right individual or organisation.
A police check is a good idea and you can apply for a national police check online. It is not free, it will cost around $42 and this is for those living in the ACT and overseas. Each state police force has their own data base as well, and this is the appropriate source for those living and working in a particular state, like NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, NT and TAS. The fees for these records differ per state or territory, but are around $60 to $90. Should these records be free? As taxpayers who already contribute large amounts of money for the judiciary system in this country, why are we forced to pay more to see the results of these police and judicial bodies?
In Australia, individual home owners who contract independent agents to work on their homes, are not empowered or, even, encouraged by their governments to run police checks on prospective contractors. In the end, it comes down to the power of word of mouth, using businesses that are recommended by people you know who have successfully and safely engaged these contractors. Hire people who deliver reliable renovations.