Former builder penalised for unapproved and non-compliant work – Jeffery Thomas Jennings

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  • Building work at a Kalgan property did not match the approved plans
  • Issues included excessive height and an unauthorised carport
  • Mr Jennings failed to properly manage and supervise a building service

A former registered builder has been fined the maximum amount of $5,000 by the Building Services Board for deviating from approved plans and building standards while constructing a house in WA’s Great Southern region.

Jeffery Thomas Jennings (BC100884/BP101090, expired) was contracted in March 2016 to build a new home in Kalgan. The City of Albany issued a building permit for the project a month later.

The Building Services Board was told that a City of Albany inspection in 2017 revealed Mr Jennings’ work did not comply with the approved plans, including an unauthorised double carport, a roof ridge 1.4m higher than allowed and a building height of 8.2m when only 7.5m was approved.

The sand pad also exceeded the maximum height and had been partially dug away with retaining installed, which was not part of the building permit.

The City of Albany issued a stop work order in July 2017 while awaiting a new development application for the work. Mr Jennings did not return to the site and his contract with the home owners was terminated in July 2018. 

The home owners lodged a building services complaint with Building and Energy, which concluded at the State Administrative Tribunal in May 2019 when Mr Jennings was ordered to pay almost $155,000 for rectification works and $27,775 in fees and costs.

Mr Jennings became a bankrupt in September 2020. The home owners have since received payment under a home indemnity insurance policy.

At its April 2021 meeting, the Building Services Board considered Mr Jennings’ actions in the context of WA’s building registration laws.

The Board found he failed to properly manage and supervise a building service when he built outside the approved plans and applicable building standards.

Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said disregard for the building approval process could put public safety at risk.

“Building work, including additions and modifications, should not be carried out without the required authorisation,” he said.

“New home owners are also reminded that structures such as carports cannot just be added on during the project. All building work must be specified in your contract with building permits issued when required.” 

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Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Building and Energy
Media release
06 May 2021

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