High fines for home builder (Antoun Garcia/High Tech Construction)

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BuilderConsumer

Perth builder Antoun Garcia, trading as High Tech Construction, has been successfully prosecuted by the Building Commissioner for failing to meet his responsibilities under a home building contract.

Garcia was found guilty of three charges at the Armadale Magistrates Court on 28 November 2013 and was ordered to pay fines of $12,000 and court costs of $621.15. He did not appear in court.

The charges were for offences under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 and related to a verbal contract entered into in September 2011 for work carried out at a Camillo property between September 2011 and September 2012. The work was valued at $36,080 and consisted of the supply and construction of a patio and games room.

The charges against Garcia, the builder, were for:

  • failing to ensure the home building work contract was in writing and dated and signed by himself and the owner;
  • the contract providing an entitlement for the builder to receive a deposit of more than 6.5% of the total amount payable before the commencement of the home building work; and
  • performing the home building work without a policy of home indemnity insurance.

Garcia’s quote indicated that a deposit of 20% would be required before the commencement of the work. A partly written, partly oral contract was formed upon the owner’s acceptance of the quote.

“The Home Building Contracts Act sets out the minimum requirements for contracts and applies to home building and associated work valued between $7,500 and $500,000,” Mr Gow said.

“Consumers can protect themselves by asking for a written contract, ensuring they understand the terms and conditions before signing it, and checking they are not being asked to pay a deposit of more than 6.5% of a home building contract valued within the specified price range. 

“The Act is in place for a good reason; it protects both the home owner and persons undertaking home building and associated work.

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

More information on the builders’ responsibilities and the relevant laws is available on the Building Commission website or contact 1300 489 099 or bcinfo@commerce.wa.gov.au.

Building Commission
Department News
12 Dec 2013

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