Builders going bankrupt — what’s causing it and how you can protect yourself
We are all painfully aware of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our lives over the past couple of years. Lockd...
The federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme has seen mixed reviews, with an association warning it may be exploited by “dodgy” builders.
NSW builder broker Builder Finders has responded to the $688 million stimulus, noting concern that some “unscrupulous builders” may take advantage.
While pleased that swift action has been taken to boost the construction industry, Builder Finders director Lynette Manciameli is concerned that the scheme is vulnerable to exploitation.
“We welcome the HomeBuilder scheme, as it will give the construction industry a much needed boost in these unprecedented times while allowing Australians to pursue their building and renovation aspirations.
“However, as we saw with the pink batts disaster following the GFC, even the best laid plans can have unintended consequences. Incentivised by the opportunity to make quick cash, several irresponsible operators delivered substandard work, scammed unwitting customers or placed untrained young workers at risk,” Ms Manciameli said.
“What we are likely to see off the back of the HomeBuilder scheme is dodgy builders coming out of the woodwork. This is bad news for the consumer and bad news for the many reputable builders who are doing the right thing.”
Ms Manciameli acknowledges that poor construction standards in the past have meant that “building issues are extremely common in Australia”.
“Over the past decade, new home owners in Australia have faced a $10.5 billion bill to repair defects such as leaks, cracks, problems with plumbing, guttering issues and more. A lack of regulation and the opportunity for shoddy builders to make quick cash will further exacerbate the problem.”
Going forward, Ms Manciameli said it has become more important than ever for consumers to do their due diligence when selecting a builder for their project.
“There are several builders out there who are doing the right thing and have a sterling reputation for quality. Consumers should do everything in their power to vet builders, including seeking out testimonials and checking credit scores. This will help them avoid being saddled with a dodgy builder before it’s too late,” she concluded.