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A property developer has been fined $25,000 by the Perth Magistrates Court and ordered to pay compensation totalling $26,207 to three of his clients after pleading guilty on 25 January 2019 to accepting payment but failing to supply the goods and services.
David John Leitch Emery, formerly of Busselton but now residing in Perth, was trading as DK & IE Projects and D1 One when the breaches of the Australian Consumer Law occurred in 2015 and 2016.
A Dunsborough property owner was granted $11,434.90 in compensation after she had engaged Mr Emery in a project to subdivide a block of land, design and draft two homes, administer the building tender and oversee the construction. Deposit money was paid but only concept drawings and re-drafts of designs were completed.
A Vasse property owner was granted $10,000 in compensation after she had engaged Mr Emery to subdivide two blocks of land in Vasse and Dunsborough. Deposit money was paid but no plans were completed or submitted to the City of Busselton in accordance with the agreement.
A Busselton property owner was granted $4,772.80 in compensation after she had engaged Mr Emery to manage the ordering and installation of a stone benchtop at her home. She paid the full amount upfront but the benchtop was never ordered or installed.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the repeated nature of the offences made it a very serious matter.
“Mr Emery showed a blatant disregard for his clients’ consumer rights by accepting a total of $38,925 in deposits and only commencing work in one of the three cases,” Mr Hillyard said.
“There is a tremendous amount of trust involved when a consumer pays a large deposit to a trader, but there is also a huge risk involved if the trader takes the money but fails to deliver.
“That’s why we recommend only small deposits are paid or, in cases of large projects, only pay when certain stages of the work are completed and when materials are supplied.”
More information is available on the Consumer Protection website www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au. Enquiries can be made by email email@example.com or call 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / firstname.lastname@example.org