The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has fined a person $10,000 for carrying
out building work without being a registered builder, or having a building
permit and insurance.
The man was prosecuted and found guilty of the charge of carrying out
domestic building work illegally for a Prahran homeowner without even a written
building contract. The charges were laid by the Victorian Building Authority.
The man lied to the Prahran homeowner that he had the necessary permits
and paperwork, and that he was working under another builder’s registration. He
had earlier been convicted of similar charges and found guilty at the Ringwood
Magistrates’ Court in 2009 where he was fined $3,000 and ordered to pay $8,076
He has pleaded guilty to all the latest charges.
VBA’s Compliance and Performance Director, Murray Smith explains that
this case demonstrates why property owners should make sure they only use a
registered builder and that they have a building permit for the work.
As per current rules, all domestic building work in Victoria costing
more than $5000 must be done by a builder who is registered with the Building
Practitioners Board (BPB); it is also equally important to document the arrangement
between the parties in a written major domestic building contract.
According to Mr Murray, hiring a registered builder will ensure the
homeowner receives the services of a professional who meets the legal requirements
and has the insurance and skills needed to do the job properly.
Victoria laws require nearly all building work, including most
alterations and demolitions to have a building permit. A registered building
practitioner not only understands these requirements but can also assist the
homeowner to obtain the requisite approvals and permits.
VBA’s Chief Executive Officer, Prue Digby adds that the VBA takes
non-compliance matters seriously and will always initiate appropriate action. Homeowners
seeking to engage a builder should first ask to see their official BPB
registration card, which can also be confirmed online on the VBA website.