A Perth tradesman has been fined after pleading guilty to carrying out work on a building project without adequate registration.
Ross Zedric Newbold of Alfresco Living, Western Australia, pleaded guilty at Midland Magistrates Court earlier this month after he was found to have breached WA’s building registration laws following a prosecution by Building and Energy.
Mr Newbold was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay costs of $935.50. The court was told that in 2017, owners of a home in Glen Forrest agreed to pay $40,218.84 for Mr Newbold to re-roof part of their house and construct a new patio. Work commenced in June 2017.
“Mr Newbold has never been a registered building service contractor, which is a legal requirement for carrying out prescribed building work valued at more than $20,000,” a statement from Building and Energy explained.
“The court was told that the project went four months over schedule and, during this time, the house was insecure and open to the elements, with water leakage through the incomplete roof.
“The home owners lodged a workmanship complaint with Building and Energy and, having paid Mr Newbold almost $34,000, they contracted another company to complete the work at their house at an additional cost of $9,300.
“Mr Newbold declared bankruptcy in October 2018.”
Commenting further, Building and Energy executive director Saj Abdoolakhan urged consumers to check the Register of Builders, accessible from the WA government website, before entering into a contract for work valued at more than $20,000 that requires a building permit.
“The safety and quality of buildings depends on proper standards and workmanship at every stage,” he said.
“The registration system provides an important protection for building owners, the industry and the community by ensuring that practitioners have appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience to take on these responsibilities.
“By engaging a registered building contractor for residential work valued at more than $20,000 that requires a building permit, home owners will also be protected by a compulsory home indemnity insurance policy. This enables a home owner to access up to $100,000 in the event the builder dies, disappears or becomes insolvent.”