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Lift Consultants and your best interests or theirs?

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Be careful of who tells you what and for whose interests they tell you. Ask if people are receiving payments when a lift consultant shows up and the reasons for that lift consultant recommending a company that is no better than what you already have.

Not all, but most Lift consultants have no formal qualifications to be acting in the position that they are. The standard trade for a lift mechanic is an electrician, a lift designer: a qualified engineer (with a degree).

An interesting situation has arisen with Fair Trading requirements of Design Consultants having an engineering degree (electrical or mechanical) for Vertical transportation Practioners Licence for class 2 buildings. Ask for proof of qualifications and not acronyms of memberships to "Lift engineer" societies. If a lift consultant has no formal qualifications they can't get insurance or the type they have is not valid. A lot of electrical licenses were held through third parties in the past and revoked. They are personally liable for anything they say or recommend to you. You will have no recourse for mistakes they say or suggest. Most solicitors will not take on certain types of law because their Professional Indemnity insurance does not cover other types of law. People hire lift consultants to contract negotiate. Is the lift consultant using a qualified solicitor or directly consulting one?

Most Lift Consultants will claim their qualifications come from the fact they have been in the lift industry for a number of years, does this qualify the receptionist the accountant, the laborer or the trades assistant to be a Lift consultant?

Sometimes there is no other option but for replacement of lifts, we've heard stories of consultants charging 20% commissions on $1m full lift removal and replacement jobs, when the lift could have been modernized for less than the consultants fee. The modernized lift would have had less down time, no engineering or building structural issues and no patching or rework of lobbies.

Structural changes to buildings should be made by Licensed builders. Full lift replacement jobs in old brick lift shafts should be given directly to builders. One consultant threatened that we would never work for a strata again if we didn't quote a job that structurally changed the load forces on a brick building. His associate previously used my electrical license without permission to contract to a multinational lift company- while contracting to that company his employees complained that he was garnishing their wages for child support payments, their children never received the money. Glad to never deal with them again.

We see consultants engaged by strata who will not act in their clients best interest to engage a builder: they want to be the middle man.

We performed a difficult lift job in the Sydney CBD for a very professional builder who spent 12 months due diligence with council, applicable standards/rules, the owners, the tennants and multiple lift companies about what was possible. We were given the job to install the fully customized lift and after successfully completed, the tenant very publicly went broke and did not want to pay the rent on their office. A third party building management contractor hired an unqualified lift consultant and with no valid basis suggested that we should remove and replace the entire lift and that he as the lift consultant should be tasked with overseeing the process and the commission. Another lift company took on the maintenance (The warranty period was not required) The problem was that the lift installed was the only option. It would have to be replaced with...... the same lift. Why would anyone put their name to a suggestion like this? Greed? Desperation? A gamble? A few years later the lift is still there, and the maintenance company has abandoned the job with a note left on the floor, "If you have problems call them"

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