Triffic Builders cops record $140,000 fine for building offences

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The Rockingham Magistrates Court has handed down a record fine to unregistered company Triffic Builders Pty Ltd for registration and contractual offences it committed for building work at a Parmelia property in April 2011 and a Medina property in May 2011.

In proceedings finalised on Thursday 18 September, the company was fined $140,000 and ordered to pay costs of $1,178.90.

The company was convicted of four charges under the repealed Builders Registration Act 1939 for contracting for and carrying out building work valued over $20,000 without the required registration. Similar requirements exist under the new Building Services (Registration) Act 2011. The company was also convicted of a further two charges for failing to obtain the required policy of home indemnity insurance, which is an offence under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 and for misleading the local government about the value of the work to obtain a building permit.

As officers of the company, directors Robert Michael Gepp and Stephen Richard Farmer were found to have committed the offences of the company. Mr Gepp was fined $10,500 and costs of $1,178.90. Mr Farmer was fined $14,000 and costs of $1,178.90.

In a previous prosecution, finalised in October 2010, Mr Gepp and Mr Farmer were fined a total of $4,400 and ordered to pay costs of $634.70 for registration and contractual offences.

Building Commissioner Peter Gow said the record fines imposed by the court in this most recent case reflects the seriousness of the offences.

“Having been prosecuted before for similar offences, both Mr Gepp and Mr Farmer are well aware of their responsibilities under the building laws,” Building Commissioner Peter Gow said.

“That these directors continue to flout the laws is just plain irresponsible. For instance, the absence of home indemnity insurance puts the consumer at significant risk of financial loss 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.

“Consumers should protect themselves by checking their building service provider holds the required registration or licence before engaging them to carry out work. You can do this using the ‘Find a registered building service provider or licensed plumber’ database on our website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/find-registered-building-service-provider.

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

Information on builders’ responsibilities and the relevant laws is also available on the Building Commission website, or by calling 1300 489 099 or emailing bcinfo@commerce.wa.gov.au.

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08 Oct 2014

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