Fines and spent conviction for northern suburbs landscaper

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An unsigned contract and an excessive deposit have cost a landscaper almost $2,800 in fines and costs, following a prosecution by the Building Commissioner.

At Midland Magistrates Court last month, the man from Ocean Reef pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Home Building Contracts Act 1991.

He was granted a spent conviction and ordered to pay fines totalling $2,200 and costs of $593.80.

The charges related to landscaping, shed construction and fencing work valued at $37,500 at a Swan Valley property. 

The court heard that the landscaper failed to ensure the contract was signed by the property owner, as required by law.

In addition, the quote stated that a 60 per cent deposit was required and the parties agreed to go ahead on that basis. Under the Act, a contract is not permitted to provide for a deposit of more than 6.5 per cent of the total value of the work.

Building Commissioner Ken Bowron said the Act applied to home building and associated work – such as landscaping and installation of garages, sheds and pools – valued between $7,500 and $500,000.

“These laws are designed to protect the interests of both home owners and builders,” he said.

“In this case, an incomplete contract exposed both parties to financial risk, while the deposit was far in excess of the maximum allowed.

“We will continue to hold to account those who put the public interest and integrity of the building industry at risk.”

Visit the Building and Energy website ( or contact 1300 489 099 for more information about building laws, rights and responsibilities.


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Building and Energy
Media release
15 Oct 2018

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