The state’s consumer watchdog is reminding tradespeople that it is illegal to trade and advertise without a relevant building licence.
Complaints made to Consumer and Business Services (CBS) alleged that Darren Beaty (trading as Adelaide Custom Cabinets) had advertised through Gumtree and engaged in building activities without the appropriate building licence.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, said that investigators were alerted to Mr Beaty’s activities by a disgruntled customer. He was allegedly found to be advertising his business services on Gumtree, a community website and engaging in business activities without the appropriate licence.
Media release: Action taken as contractor breaches licence conditions on popular website (PDF 93KB)
A person is presumed to be a dealer if he or she buys or offers to buy or sells or offers for sale, at least four second-hand vehicles during a period of 12 months (unless they can demonstrate the vehicles were bought or sold for private purposes).
Under the changes to the law, a person and a close associate are presumed to be dealers, if between them, they buy or offer to buy or sell or offer for sale, six or more second-hand vehicles during a 12 month period (unless they can demonstrate the vehicles were bought or sold for private purposes).
If a vehicle’s registration is transferred from one person to another, it is presumed that the vehicle was sold, unless it can be proved to the contrary.
Tradespeople contracting to owner builders for domestic building work should be aware that they have more responsibilities than when sub-contracting to a licensed builder. These include:
- Your work will be covered by statutory warranties. Your customer, or any subsequent owner of the property can claim against you if there is any breach of the following:
- Your work must be performed in a proper manner, to accepted trade standards and in accordance with the agreed plans and specifications
- All materials you supply must be good and proper
- Your work must meet all statutory requirements (such as Building Code of Australia requirements)
- You must complete your work within the time specified in the contract or, if no time is specified, with reasonable diligence
- If the owner has made known to you a particular purpose or desired result of the work you are to perform, your work and any materials you supply must reasonably be expected to achieve that result.
- In relation to any contract with a value of $12,000 or more:
- You must have a written contract that includes all contractual terms in full and provide a Form 1 notice setting out your customers rights and obligations
- You must have a policy of Building Indemnity Insurance in place for your work
- You cannot take a deposit more than $1,000 or 5% of the price, whichever is higher
- Other payments for your work must be genuine progress payments that are charged after completion of stages or all of your work
- There are requirements relating to pricing in your contract relating to rise and fall clauses, prime cost items and provisional sums
- Your customer has a right to “cool off” within 5 clear business days of entering the contract
If you are unclear on any of your obligations, you should contact CBS or your industry association before entering into a contract or as soon as possible if a dispute arises.