The director of a construction company has been fined by the Victorian Building Authority for fraudulently using a registered builder’s details to obtain a building permit and apply for domestic building insurance.

Despite never having been a registered builder, he entered into a contract with a homeowner to carry out a home extension in Bentleigh in April 2010. He then forged the signature of a registered building practitioner to apply for building insurance as well as obtain a building permit for the work.

According to Director of Compliance and Performance, Murray Smith, VBA investigated the matter following a complaint made by the registered practitioner about the fraudulent use of his details to apply for insurance and a building permit.

The accused person had also entered into contracts with other homeowners to carry out building work at two other sites in 2010.

The Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court found the man and his company guilty of 10 charges in relation to building work at three sites. The charges included carrying out building work without being a registered building practitioner; not having the required insurance; providing false information to the relevant building surveyor; carrying out building work not in accordance with the building permit; and not notifying the relevant building surveyor after completing a mandatory notification stage of the building work.

The director was fined $40,000, while his company was fined $25,000 and ordered to pay court costs.

Mr Smith added that any Victorian wanting to carry out domestic building work that costs more than $5000 must use a registered builder. The VBA encourages consumers to verify the authenticity of their builder by asking to see their official Building Practitioners Board registration card, or by performing a search on the VBA website.