Failure to fix faults leaves roofer in the red – Michael Shadlow of Emerald Roofing Services

  • Roof restorer ignored Building Commissioner’s order to rectify defects in Falcon
  • Matter went to trial due to claims of ‘reasonable excuse’ for non-compliance
  • Guilty verdict, $2,000 fine and $1,500 in costs

A Mandurah roof restorer has been ordered to pay $3,500 in fines and costs after a court found he did not have a valid reason for disregarding an official order to fix defects.

On 6 December at the Mandurah Courthouse, Michael Shadlow of Emerald Roofing Services was found guilty of failing to comply with a Building Commissioner’s order without a reasonable excuse, which is an offence under WA’s building complaint laws.

Agreed facts presented to the court showed that Mr Shadlow was contracted in March 2019 to carry out a full roof restoration valued at $6,150 at a house in Falcon.

The work was completed in July 2019, but the home owner withheld the final payment and arranged for another company to inspect the roof.

The home owner later lodged a workmanship complaint with Building and Energy, which resulted in a building remedy order requiring Mr Shadlow to rectify seven areas of faulty or unsatisfactory work at the Falcon house within 28 days.

The issues included unclean tiles where leaves, dirt and moss had been painted over; paint spray on surfaces such as the skylight, solar panels and patio; washed-off paint; and not replacing 30 damaged tiles or the ridge capping.

Mr Shadlow did not comply with any parts of the order.

Although all parties agreed with the facts of the case, the matter proceeded to trial because Mr Shadlow argued he had a reasonable excuse for not complying with the order.

The reasons presented by Mr Shadlow included being interstate, not wanting to use subcontractors due to pride in his work, the home owner’s withheld payment and lack of access to the property.

However, Magistrate Leanne Atkins noted evidence that Mr Shadlow was only interstate for a few days during the compliance period and the home owner had not prevented access.

Her Honour also stated that the outstanding payment was a separate issue to the building remedy order and the refusal to engage a subcontractor was not a reasonable excuse, particularly as it provided an avenue to comply with the order.

Mr Shadlow was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay costs of $1,500. Her Honour noted that Mr Shadlow had no prior criminal or building compliance history, but she added that he “thumbed your nose at the Building Commissioner” due to his inaction.

Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said the building complaints process applies to all paid home building work carried out under a contract, even if the provider is not a registered builder.

“The building complaint resolution process is an important mechanism to ensure parties get a fair go,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“Building service providers who do not follow through with their responsibilities will face consequences.

“Failure to comply with a Building Commissioner’s order is not only illegal, it can leave home owners feeling uncomfortable or even unsafe at their own properties if building issues are not rectified.”


Media contact:

Building and Energy
Media release
14 Dec 2021

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