Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said the successful prosecution of unlicensed builder Xin Li is a warning to home builders and tradespeople who choose to operate without a valid license.
Xin Li, who traded as Sydney Bathrooms & Kitchens at Waterloo, was convicted by Parramatta Local Court for breaches of the Home Building Act 1989 including unlicensed contracting of residential building work. He was ordered to pay fines and costs of $17,370.
Mrs Williams said Xin Li persistently ignored his obligations under the Act, which resulted in NSW Fair Trading pursuing him through the courts.
“The Home Building Act provides protection to consumers by requiring builders and tradespeople to be licensed for the work that they do, and to have proper contracts and insurance in place for most jobs,” Mrs Williams said.
“Xin Li’s conduct shows he placed little regard for the integrity of the NSW home building industry or the rights of the consumers who engaged his services.”
“NSW Fair Trading routinely conducts site inspections to ensure builders and tradespeople are operating lawfully,” Mrs Williams said.
“In the last financial year Fair Trading conducted 1,147 home building site inspections and investigated around 670 home building complaints.
“Concerns about unlicensed home builders and tradespeople generated 291 enquiries in 2013-14 compared to 163 enquiries in the previous year, a significant increase of 79 per cent.”
Mrs Williams said NSW Fair Trading successfully prosecuted 22 licensed builders and tradespeople in the last financial year for 166 offences, resulting in Court imposing fines totaling over $500,000. In addition 222 defendants were fined for 375 offences resulting in fines of $364,000.
“Current maximum penalties for seeking work unlicensed or contracting or doing work unlicensed are $110,000 for a corporation or $11,000 for an individual.
“Consumers are reminded to check the licensing credentials of a contractor with NSW Fair Trading before agreeing to any work,” Mrs Williams said.
For more information visit www.nswfairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20
Posted on 17 Wed, September, 2014
by Leslie Williams