South Australia’s consumer watchdog is warning the public against hiring an unlicensed builder with prior convictions for taking deposits and failing to deliver the services.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said Consumer and Business Services had received reports that Andrew Laundy - operating under the name ‘Creative Scapes’ - has failed to complete landscaping, paving and fencing work or return deposits for uncompleted work on multiple occasions this year alone.
Mr Soulio said that, as a result, CBS has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a second public warning, urging consumers to avoid entering into any form of contract or agreement for services with Laundy.
“We’ve received repeated complaints about Laundy taking deposits and either not showing up to do the work or failing to complete it, despite him being prosecuted for similar actions a few years ago,” he said.
“In one more recent complaint, a consumer advised us that they had paid Laundy more than $12,000 as a deposit for landscaping work that still has not been completed.
“This is the second time we have issued a warning about this individual - in 2015, before he had been convicted for numerous Australian Consumer Law and Building Work Contractors Act breaches, we issued a public warning about him due to allegations of a similar nature.
“It’s the first time we’ve taken this step, but it’s clear there are still very real concerns about Laundy’s behaviour.”
Mr Soulio also encouraged consumers to do their homework before hiring a builder and not hand over deposits which exceed the amounts authorised by law.
“I urge anyone looking to hire a builder to visit the CBS website and ensure the tradesperson has an appropriate licence to carry out the work,” he said.
“Consumers should also talk to friends and family, and check references to see if the builder has a good reputation and check the CBS website for public warning notices.”
Mr Soulio said CBS is continuing to investigate the matter, and said anyone who has had any dealings with Andrew Laundy or Creative Scapes should contact CBS on 131 882.
To check whether a builder is licensed, visit the CBS Public Register.