$21,000 in fines for unregistered builder

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Beckenham unregistered builder John Dawson, trading as Patio Parts and Patio Power, has been successfully prosecuted by the Building Commissioner for registration and contractual offences that have left owners of a Gooseberry Hill property with unsatisfactory work and over $67,000 out of pocket.

In proceedings finalised at the Midland Magistrates Court on Friday 10 April 2015, Mr Dawson was ordered to pay fines totalling $21,000 and costs of $1,350 after pleading guilty to six charges under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 and the Home Building Contracts Act 1991. The offences were in relation to building work Mr Dawson carried out at a Gooseberry Hill property between 30 October 2011 and 18 May 2012.

Mr Dawson was convicted of one charge each of:

  • holding out or implying that he was a registered building contractor when he was not;
  • contracting for building work valued over $20,000 without the required building contractor registration;
  • carrying out building work valued over $20,000 without the required building contractor registration;
  • failing to provide the owners with a Notice to the Home Owner prior to signing the home building work contract;
  • entering into a home building work contract that provided he was entitled to demand or receive a deposit of more than 6.5% of the total amount payable before the commencement of the home building work; and
  • performing residential building work valued over $20,000 without a policy of home indemnity insurance.

In May 2013, the Building Commissioner issued a Building Remedy Order for Mr Dawson to pay $67,430 to the property’s owners but Mr Dawson subsequently declared bankruptcy. As Mr Dawson did not obtain a policy of home indemnity insurance, the owners have been unable to recover any money to rectify the work.

In Western Australia, if residential building work is valued over $20,000, the builder is required to take out a policy of home indemnity insurance in the owner’s name before accepting payment or commencing work. This insurance protects an owner if the builder cannot complete the building work or meet a valid claim for faulty or unsatisfactory building work because of death, disappearance or insolvency of the builder.

Building Commissioner Peter Gow said the case highlights the need for home owners to ensure they are aware of their rights and responsibilities before they engage a building service provider.

“Mr Dawson’s actions show a blatant disregard not only for the building laws but also for the rights and the safety of the home owners who engaged his services,” Mr Gow said.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for home owners to protect themselves from unsafe and unsatisfactory work by checking the building service provider holds the required registration or licence before engaging them to carry out the work.

“The Building Commission will continue to prosecute and name those who put consumer interests and the reputation of the building industry at risk.”

You can check a building service provider holds the necessary licence or registration on the Building Commission website at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission.

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Building and Energy
Media release
28 Apr 2015

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