Northbridge builder Joseph Merenda (BP10668) has been fined $5,000 and refused renewal of his building practitioner registration as a result of disciplinary action by the Building Services Board.
The Board recently resolved that Mr Merenda, in his individual capacity, had committed fraudulent and misleading conduct and had failed to comply with orders of the Building Commissioner in the construction of two double-storey townhouses at a Doubleview property in 2009.
Mr Merenda’s conduct was fraudulent in that he knowingly entered into a building contract with an inflated contract price to allow the owners to obtain additional finance. His conduct was misleading in that he knowingly submitted a building permit application to the City of Stirling and the home indemnity insurer stating that he was to be the builder for all of the works when he was not.
Mr Merenda also failed to comply with two orders of the Building Commissioner in relation to the Doubleview property – one to remedy defective building work, and the other a subsequent order to pay the owners $44,225.50 for the cost of remedying the work.
In making its determination the Board took into consideration Mr Merenda’s conduct over a significant period of time both as a builder and as the sole director of liquidated building company MI Constructions (WA) Pty Ltd (BC12791).
The Board determined that Mr Merenda was not a fit and proper person to be registered and refused to renew his building practitioner registration.
Mr Merenda had previously been fined $13,500 by the State Administrative Tribunal in October 2006 for negligent and fraudulent conduct in relation to the carrying out of a building service.
“Mr Merenda’s conduct in relation to the Doubleview property and as sole director of MI Constructions in general demonstrates that there may be an ongoing risk to consumers and other third parties should he maintain his registration as a building practitioner,” Building Commissioner Peter Gow said.
“The Board’s fine and refusal to renew Mr Merenda’s registration is a reminder to builders who fail to maintain proper standards or who act inappropriately that significant penalties apply.
“The Building Commission will continue to hold to account and name those who put the public interest and the reputation of the building industry at risk.”
MI Constructions (WA) was placed into liquidation on 6 February 2014 owing creditors approximately
$7 million. The company’s building contractor registration was cancelled in March 2014 with the consent of its liquidator.
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