The State’s consumer watchdog has prosecuted an unlicensed builder who carried out unsatisfactory underpinning work on a home.
Frank Dashwood Bladon was convicted in the Adelaide Magistrates Court for carrying on business as a building contractor without a licence and holding himself out as being entitled to carry on business as a building work contractor.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said Consumer and Business Services (CBS) investigated a complaint from an elderly woman who required underpinning work at her home.
“In this case, the consumer contacted Bladon through an advertisement to do underpinning work at her property to repair cracking,” Mr Soulio said.
“As a result, she had been left out of pocket with poor workmanship, dangerous gas pipe repairs and further cracking to her home,” Mr Soulio said.
Bladon’s initial quote was for $4,000, which was accepted by the client. However after starting work he advised the client that further work was required and he nearly doubled his quote to $7,500.
It was alleged that in carrying out the work, Bladon cut a gas pipe, and then arranged for a substandard and potentially dangerous repair to be carried out.
It was alleged that Bladon’s work at the property actually caused more cracks.
A forensic engineer was engaged to assess the work, and found the underpinning wasn’t carried out to a suitable depth to stabilise the building.
“Bladon was using another builder’s licence number in his advertising, and didn’t himself hold the appropriate licence for the work,” Mr Soulio said.
Bladon pleaded guilty to both charges, and was fined $3,000.00, and ordered to pay compensation of $1,797.50 to the home owner in addition to prosecution costs of
The Magistrate said that the fine would have been higher but for the fact that Bladon was in custody on unrelated charges.
“Bladon is the sort of disreputable trader that CBS is committed to driving out of business.”
CBS advises people to check the licensing register to make sure a tradesperson is licensed - https://secure.cbs.sa.gov.au/OccLicPubReg/LicenceSearch.php