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Public warnings
30 October 2017

South Australia’s consumer watchdog has issued a public warning against building company Fenbreeze Homes Pty Ltd and sole director Joseph Biju Kavilpurayidathil – on the basis they allegedly accepted payment for services they failed to deliver, and provided fake building indemnity insurance certificates to some of its clients.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said Consumer and Business Services has also cancelled the building work contractor’s licence for the business, which is based in Ferryden Park, and Mr Kavilpurayidathil after numerous complaints from clients.

“We heard from consumers who say that they have paid this business money to carry out building works that have either not been completed, or have not been completed in a reasonable time, which may breach the Australian Consumer Law,” he said.

“In addition, some of the clients who have contacted us allege they have been provided with false building indemnity insurance certificates – meaning that those people will not be covered in the event that work on a property ceases or turns out to be substandard, and the builder is not in a position to complete the project.”

Under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995, it is compulsory in South Australia for builders to take out a Building Indemnity Insurance policy on all domestic construction projects that require development approval and have a value of $12,000 or greater.

Building Indemnity Insurance protects homeowners for losses relating to non-completion and breach of statutory warranty where a builder has died, disappeared or become insolvent, up to a maximum limit of $80,000 per project. There is a $400 excess per project.

Mr Soulio encouraged any consumers who have had dealings with the business to check their indemnity insurance certificates to ensure they are valid.

“If you’ve engaged Fenbreeze as a builder and they have provided you with what they claim is a valid indemnity insurance certificate, I’d encourage you to contact the insurance firm directly to verify that it is, in fact, a valid certificate,” he said.

“This business has also failed to attend Compulsory Conciliation Conferences called as a result of consumer complaints and has failed to fulfil its obligations under legally binding agreements with consumers.

“Consumer and Business Services is continuing to investigate matters relating to this business, and is warning the public not to enter into any contracts with Fenbreeze Homes for building services.”

Anyone with concerns about their dealings with either Fenbreeze Homes or Mr Kavilpurayidathil should contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882.