York builder fined over renovation work

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Unregistered York builder Bruce Alistair Beaton, trading as Reliable Renovations & Construction, has been ordered to pay fines of $5,500 and costs of $900 after being successfully prosecuted by the Building Commissioner for registration and contractual offences.

In proceedings finalised in the Northam Magistrates Court on Monday 4 August 2014, Mr Beaton pleaded guilty to three charges relating to residential building work he carried out at a storm-damaged property in Northam between April and July 2011. The work was of a total value of $90,000.

In most parts of Western Australia, carrying out building work valued over $20,000 requires registration. In failing to hold the required registration, Mr Beaton committed offences under the repealed Builders’ Registration Act 1939.

In contracting for the work, Mr Beaton also failed to meet his obligations under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991, by failing to ensure the home building work contract was dated and signed by both parties and contained the specific amount payable by the property owner, and failing to obtain the required policy of home indemnity insurance.

“The building laws are in place to protect the building’s owner and the persons undertaking the work, so for a builder to fail to meet their obligations is just plain irresponsible,” said Building Commissioner Peter Gow.

“For instance, the absence of home indemnity insurance puts the consumer at significant risk of financial loss if the builder cannot complete the building work or meet a valid claim for faulty or unsatisfactory building work because of death, disappearance or insolvency.”

“Consumers should protect themselves by checking their building service provider holds the required registration or licence before engaging them to carry out work. You can do this using the ‘Find a registered building service provider or licensed plumber’ database on our website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/buildingcommission.

"The Building Commission will continue to hold to account and name those who put consumer interests and the reputation of the building industry at risk.”

For more information on builders’ responsibilities and the relevant laws, visit the Building Commission website at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission, or contact 1300 489 099 or bcinfo@commerce.wa.gov.au.

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Media release
11 Aug 2014

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