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Shoddy work costs unlicensed builder dearly

21 April 2020

An unlicensed builder who performed substandard work at a Christies Downs home has been penalised in excess of $8,000.

In the Christies Beach Magistrates Court last month, 32-year-old Adam Mills from O'Sullivan Beach was found guilty of breaches of the Building Work Contractor's Act and the Fair Trading Act.

The court heard Mills, who never held a builder's licence, had advertised his services on Facebook and Gumtree claiming to offer "high quality at low prices".

In late 2018, Mills was hired to replace a pergola, install a timber gate and lay a concrete ground cover at a property in Christie Downs.

The court was told that, among other issues, the wood materials used by Mills were bowed, twisted and the wrong length. 

After being told that Mills was unlicensed, the consumer demanded a refund. 

The court heard Mills never repaid the money and, when requested to do so, failed to attend two compulsory conciliation conferences aimed at settling the matter. 

"This is a serious offence - Mills was unlicensed and unauthorised to carry out work of this nature," Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said. 

"Yet, he held himself out as a quality tradesperson. He carried out substandard work on a consumer's property, and subsequently refused to refund the client or settle the matter.

"We would encourage all consumers to check whether a tradesperson is licensed before engaging them to perform work. This gives you an extra degree of certainty that the person you're dealing with is able to do the job." 

To check the public register of licensees, head to the CBS website. People with concerns about a tradesperson's conduct can also contact CBS on 131 882.