The state’s consumer watchdog is reminding tradespeople it is against the law to advertise as being entitled to carry on business as a building work contractor without holding a relevant licence.
Complaints made to Consumer and Business Services (CBS) alleged that Damien Knowles (trading as Designer Paving and Patios) had engaged in building works relating to the installation of a downpipe, stormwater drainage system and retaining wall after advertising his services online.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, said investigators found Mr Knowles had allegedly advertised, contracted for and performed building work, and was in breach of the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 as he was not licensed as a building work contractor.
“Information indicated he was advertising his business and services on popular website Gumtree, however Mr Knowles does not have this or any other business name registered,” Mr Soulio said.
“Under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995, a building work contractor is required to publish their name or registered business name and licence number in advertisements for building work.
“While free websites such as Gumtree are making it easier for businesses to offer and target their services to specific areas, consumers are encouraged to research prospective tradespeople and ask for a tradesperson’s licence card, which includes photo ID, and cross-check the licence number advertised on the CBS online contractor’s register.”
In response to the concerns raised by CBS, Mr Knowles agreed to enter into an Assurance that was accepted by the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs.
A written Assurance is a formal undertaking that in certain circumstances, may be used in place of enforcement action such as prosecution or disciplinary action. Failure to comply with an Assurance could make the trader liable to prosecution.
Mr Soulio said the Assurance states Mr Knowles will not perform building work and not advertise, hold himself out, tender for or seek employment as a building work contractor without a Building Work Contractors Licence.
Consumers can report concerns about suspected unlicensed builders and tradespeople by contacting CBS on 131 882 or visit www.cbs.sa.gov.au.