Formal caution for liquidated building company

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Liquidated Canning Vale building company Fortress Home Building Construction Pty Ltd (previous reg. BC13188) has been formally cautioned by the Building Services Board for negligent conduct under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011.

The disciplinary action against the company was for breaching the Building Act 2011 by failing to ensure that a building permit was in effect before the commencement of building work. The unauthorised building work involved the partial laying of the concrete slab for a new medical centre at a Geraldton property in January 2014.

The matter was brought to the Building Commission’s attention through a complaint received by the City of Greater Geraldton. A building surveyor working for the City inspected the site on
23 January 2014 to find the concrete pour in progress. When approached by the building surveyor, the company’s sole director Brian Jackman said he was aware the building permit had not been issued but had commenced the pour to avoid project delays.

Mr Jackman had submitted an uncertified application for a building permit for the work in December 2013 but failed to act on the City’s requests to have the correct engineering details provided for the work. The City had reminded Mr Jackman eight days prior to its site inspection that without this information, it was unable to prepare a certificate of design compliance and issue the building permit for the work.

On 24 January 2014, the City was provided with the correct information and issued a building permit for the section of slab that had not yet been constructed. The building permit was issued on the condition the work already completed would be subject to a building approval certificate.

On 27 June 2014, Fortress Home Building Construction was placed into external administration and later went into liquidation. This was taken into account by the Board in its decision to impose a non-monetary penalty. The company’s builder registration was cancelled in October 2014.

While the company had not previously been the subject of a prosecution or disciplinary action by the Board, Mr Jackman was fined $200 for breaching the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 in May 2013 as the director of another company, Fortress Home Building Systems Pty Ltd. The company had never been a registered builder and went into liquidation with debts of approximately $2 million.

“For the company to have commenced building work without a valid building permit is an irresponsible action that had the potential to compromise public safety,” said Building Commission Acting Executive Director Jane Vallance.

“Anyone who intends to break the building laws is reminded that these are serious offences that can attract significant penalties. The Building Commission will continue to name those who put consumer interests and the reputation of the building industry at risk.”

Information on builders’ responsibilities is available on the Building Commission website or phone 1300 489 099.

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Building and Energy
Media release
17 Feb 2015

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