Managing an organisation

Engaging service providers

A service provider is an external person or business engaged by a community housing organisation to perform particular functions.

You might engage a service provider to undertake:

  • administrative tasks
  • managing rent and rent arrears
  • financial management for the organisation
  • garden, property maintenance or tenancy management roles.

Service providers include contractors and tradespeople employed to undertake maintenance work.

Things to consider

Before engaging a service provider you should consider:

  • when will the contract start and finish, is it a one-off job or ongoing
  • how can the contract be reviewed and renewed
  • how and when a contract can end before the finish date
  • who in your organisation will be the contact people for the service provider
  • is insurance needed, who organises and pays for this
  • is there a conflict of interest
  • what fees, rates or charges apply, how are these paid and will they increase over time
  • are there out of hours or overtime rates you may be charged
  • what warranties or guarantees does the service provider provide
  • what your options and rights are if something goes wrong.

Selecting a service provider

When selecting a service provider you should check their:

  • experience
  • references
  • qualifications
  • licence (if applicable).

You could conduct interviews with a selection of providers. This will give you an opportunity to check their references and discuss what your organisation's needs are.

If you are having problems finding a service provider contact Community Partnerships and Growth (CPG) for information or contact other community housing organisations in your area to discuss what contractors or service providers they use.

Once you have selected a service provider you must have a formal written contract between them and your organisation.

Contractors, tradespeople and maintenance

A service provider can be employed to undertake general or specific maintenance work on either an ongoing basis or as a one-off.

Contractors can undertake general maintenance work that doesn't require a licence - eg painting.

Tradespeople who are legally required to hold a licence include:

  • builders
  • plumbers
  • electricians
  • gas-fitters.

Ask the tradesperson for their license number and check that they are legally permitted to carry out the work in South Australia through Consumer and Business Services website.

Selecting a contractor or tradesperson

You could join with other community housing organisations to engage a contractor for maintenance work across your properties and share the costs between you. This may help you to get better rates and prices by negotiating bulk buying deals.

It is strongly recommended that you seek at least three quotes from different people or businesses before you engage a tradesperson or contractor, particularly if the work they will be carrying out is expensive.

Related information

On this site


For an alternative version of a document on this page contact Renewal SA

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Page last updated 30 November 2016

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Department of Human Services
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