Commission or what?
My client is a self-employed home maintenance man. He does work for landlords - gardening, decorating, general repairs and refurbishment - whose properties are managed by a property management company.
He has been doing this for some years now, very successfully and much praised by the landlords for whom he does work.
The property rental firm advise him when work needs doing, he quotes as necessary, the management company seeks approval from landlord and advises my client to proceed on the landlord's instruction.
The property management company charges the landlords a 10% of rent + VAT fee each month for managing the property, receiving rent, making payments for expenses and then paying the net rent into their account.
My client does the work and invoices the landlord, sending his account to the management company who arrange payment to him.
Now, the management company have told him to increase his invoice to the landlords by 10% and then to issue a credit note to them, the company, for that 10% as a form of commission, which they will deduct from his gross invoice at the end of each month!
My client is not employed, nor contracted to the management firm and invoices the landlord, so how can he issue a credit note to the management company when he hasn't invoiced them in the first place?
I have my thoughts regarding the ethics/legality of this suggestion and would be interested to hear others' opinion.
In addition, not every person or business who does work for the landlords is being asked to do this and, of course, the landlords are not being told that this is happening.
Sorry to be long winded but would appreciate your comments.
A bemused and perplexed
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