The Magistrates Court has convicted and fined a builder for failing to ensure that his company held the appropriate licences for the work it undertook.
Consumer and Business Services received complaints against landscaping company ‘Garden Makeovers’, and its director Mr John Andrew Hunter, in relation to poor quality work, defective work, and failing to carry out contracted work.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Paul White, said, “This case sends a strong message to builders and tradespeople about being absolutely sure you or your company are appropriately licensed.
“Mr Hunter, who held a licence in his own right, had built up his business Garden Makeovers.
“Where previously Mr Hunter contracted for work directly, as his business grew the new work was contracted in the name of the company.
“This represented a significant shift in regulatory requirements, but Mr Hunter failed to apply and obtain a licence for his company.
“He also accepted payment for goods or services and failed to supply those goods or services in a reasonable time. Some of the work was defective and needed to be rectified.
“Because of this, he and Garden Makeovers have now been convicted of multiple breaches of the Building Work Contractors Act, a breach of the Fair Trading Act, and a breach of the Australian Consumer Law, and fined a total of $12,000.
“Investigators discovered that the company was not qualified or licensed to offer to do any of the work they contracted for.
“As a result, the homeowners are now severely out of pocket and have suffered both financially and emotionally. Remedial work still needs to be done on their properties.
“The Magistrate took into account the fact that it was a first court appearance, and that Mr Hunter had attempted to rectify the work.
“I urge every builder, tradesperson and other holders of occupational licences to check with Consumer and Business Services about the exact nature of your licence or registration.
“If your circumstances change, then your licensing and registration needs may change too.” said Mr White.
Builders, tradespeople and consumers can contact CBS on 131 882 or visit www.cbs.sa.gov.au