A conviction, fine and large compensation order has been imposed on an Adelaide man who claimed to be a stonemason.
In the Christies Beach Magistrates Court on 9 December, Angelo Gajewski was convicted of carrying on business as a building work contractor without a licence.
He was ordered to pay the maximum compensation to his client of $20,000.
Gajewski was also fined $6,000 and ordered to pay $11,000 in court costs to Consumer and Business Services.
The court heard Gajewski had entered into a contract in 2008 to perform building work on a heritage property at Penneshaw, South Australia. The quoted price of the building work totalled $25,198.
The work involved constructing a stone extension at the rear of the premises and a Tuscan style paved garden with raised garden beds.
In total, Gajewski was paid $34,900 for the work.
However, the court found the building work had major defects, the workmanship was poor, and the only remedy was demolition.
In order of priority, Gajewski must pay the compensation, the fine, then costs to Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
“This is a significant outcome for the client, the community and CBS. Our officers pursued this matter diligently and professionally,” Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Paul White said.
“This judgement sends a stern warning to traders to abide by the law or face severe penalties, including big compensation payments, large fines and permanent industry bans,” Mr White said.
Consumers are encouraged to:
• research prospective tradespeople by checking references from previous work or check with building associations – such as the Housing Industry Association or Master Builders Association.
• ask for a tradesperson’s licence card - which includes photo ID -and cross- check the licence number with the contractors’ register on the CBS website www.cbs.sa.gov.au.
• report concerns about suspected unlicensed builders, or lodge a complaint, by contacting Consumer and Business Services on 13 1882 or visit the CBS website