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Building and Energy is encouraging consumers to check their builder is registered and to be aware of rules about deposits for home building work, following the regulator’s prosecution of a Perth tradesman.
Peter Mpyana was fined $10,000 at Fremantle Magistrates Court on 22 April 2022 after pleading guilty to carrying out building work at a North Coogee house without the required registration, as well as taking an excessive deposit from the home owners.
Information presented in court revealed that in May 2020, Mr Mpyana was contracted to carry out renovation work valued at more than $96,000, including cabinetry, new walls, paintwork throughout the house and replacement and relocation of doors.
Mr Mpyana requested and received a deposit of 50 per cent of the contract value prior to starting work, which he carried out or supervised between May and September 2020.
In WA, only a registered building contractor can carry out building work valued at $20,000 or more that requires a building permit. Mr Mpyana was fined $8,000 for breaching the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 because he was not a registered builder.
The home owners later engaged a registered builder to rectify and complete the work.
Mr Mpyana was also fined $2,000 for accepting a deposit of more than 6.5 per cent of the contract value, which is the maximum allowed under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 for residential building work valued at $7,500 or more.
Building and Energy Acting Executive Director Sandy Randall said disregard for building legislation put consumers at risk.
“The community rightly expects building work to be carried out correctly and lawfully, given the serious implications for safety and well-being,” Ms Randall said.
“The builder registration process aims to ensure that only people with appropriate qualifications and experience can undertake building work.
“Another important aspect is only registered builders can take out a home indemnity insurance policy, which must be provided for home building work valued over $20,000. This insurance covers home owners for their losses up to a prescribed value in the event of their builder’s death, disappearance or insolvency.
“Consumers should ask to see evidence of a person’s registration or they can check the Register of Builders at the Building and Energy website.
“Likewise, setting a deposit limit reduces the risk to consumers if issues arise during the project. In this case, the home owners paid a deposit more than seven times the amount allowed, which is unacceptable.”
Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au