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An unlicensed tradesperson has agreed to pay back consumers $11,780 after accepting deposits for work he never undertook.

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) received complaints involving Sean Joseph Nelson (trading as ‘L&S Paving & Landscaping’ and ‘ASL Landscaping Specialist’) , who had agreed to complete landscaping work for two consumers without
holding a relevant building work licence or registration.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, said the work related to the supply and installation of landscaping materials for the construction of a retaining wall and front pillar fence, lawn, irrigated garden beds and plants, paving and a concrete crossover.

“Mr Nelson has been found in beach of the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 for carrying on a business as building work contractor without a licence.

“Further to this, he has breached the Australian Consumer Law (SA) for accepting payments for goods or services and failing to provide those goods or services within a reasonable time.”

In response to the concerns raised by CBS, Mr Nelson agreed to enter into an Assurance that was accepted by the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs.

A written Assurance is a formal undertaking that, in certain circumstances, may be used in place of enforcement action such as prosecution or disciplinary action. Failure to comply with an Assurance could make the trader liable to prosecution.

Mr Soulio said the Assurance states Mr Nelson will not engage in the business as a building work contractor without being authorised to do and will not hold himself out as being entitled to carry on business as a building work contractor.

“As part of the agreement, Mr Nelson agreed to pay back the deposits of $6,500 and $5,280 to the consumers whom he agreed to complete work for.

“To avoid hiring a tradesperson that may not be qualified to complete the work, consumers are encouraged to research prospective tradespeople and ask for a tradesperson’s licence card, which includes photo ID, and cross-check the licence number on the CBS online contractor’s register.”

Consumers can report concerns about suspected unlicensed builders and tradespeople by contacting CBS on 131 882 or visit www.cbs.sa.gov.au