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WA’s building regulator has taken action against a now-bankrupt Albany shed installer who was previously the subject of a consumer warning.
Building and Energy prosecuted Armand Bato Javellana, trading as Aussie Sheds Albany, for six building offences related to lack of registration and excessive deposits.
The matters concluded at Armadale Magistrates Court on 7 February 2023 with Mr Javellana ordered to pay a total of $10,000 in fines and costs of $533.50.
The court was told that during a five-month period in 2020, Mr Javellana was contracted to supply and construct sheds at properties in Cardup, Katanning and Robinson.
Under WA’s builder registration laws, Mr Javellana was not entitled to carry out the projects, which were valued between $26,000 and $38,000, because he was not a registered building contractor.
The contracts prepared by Mr Javellana also stipulated deposits of almost 10 times the legal maximum of 6.5 per cent of the contract value before work begins, as set out in the Home Building Contracts Act 1991. One property owner paid a 50 per cent deposit while the other two contracts each required 60 per cent deposits.
Mr Javellana declared bankruptcy in August 2020, shortly after Consumer Protection issued a public warning following multiple complaints about him taking large amounts of money in deposits and payments without delivering the contracted services.
Building and Energy Acting Executive Director Sandy Randall encouraged consumers to check a builder’s registration (dmirs.wa.gov.au/buildersearch) before engaging them for work valued at $20,000 or more that requires a building permit.
“The community rightly expects building work and related contracts to be carried out correctly and lawfully,” Ms Randall said.
“The registration process aims to ensure that the builder has appropriate qualifications, experience and access to home indemnity insurance, which offers home owners some protection in the event of a builder’s insolvency.
“Deposit limits are also in place to reduce the risk to consumers if issues arise during a project, which unfortunately occurred in this case. Consumers should not feel pressured to pay more and builders and tradespeople must stay within the deposit limits.”
Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au