NSW Fair Trading Minister, Matthew Mason-Cox, today warned all home builders and tradespeople to ensure they have a valid licence, following the successful prosecution of unlicensed builder Xin Li at the Parramatta Local Court.
“NSW Fair Trading has a zero tolerance for unlicensed builders and tradespeople and this successful conviction should serve as a stern warning to all rogue operators,” said Mr Mason-Cox.
Mr Li, who traded under the name Sydney Bathrooms & Kitchens at Waterloo, was convicted for breaches of the Home Building Act 1989, including unlicensed contracting of residential building work. He was ordered to pay fines and costs in the amount of $17,370.
“Builders and tradespeople should make sure they have a valid licence and ensure it is renewed, as NSW Fair Trading will continue to crack down on unlicensed operators in the building industry, said Mr Mason-Cox.
“Compliance with the Home Building Act and protection of consumers are of paramount concern to NSW Fair Trading.
“As part of its efforts to stamp out rogue operators, NSW Fair Trading has been undertaking a series of on-site inspections to ensure traders and builders are operating within the applicable legislation.
“Around 670 complaints were investigated to check for compliance with the Home Building Act 1989 in the past financial year and a further 1,147 home building inspections took place during compliance campaigns.
“Another strong inspection program is underway throughout this financial year.
“NSW Fair Trading will continue to aggressively pursue prosecution action against individuals like Mr Xin Li through the courts, as well as undertake disciplinary action against licensees.
“NSW Fair Trading successfully prosecuted 22 licensed builders and tradespeople in the past financial year for 166 offences, resulting in courts imposing fines totalling more than $500,000.
“In addition, 222 defendants were fined for 375 offences, resulting in fines of $364,000.
“Consumers are reminded to check the licensing credentials of a contractor with NSW Fair Trading before agreeing to any work.’’
Current maximum penalties for seeking or doing unlicensed work are $110,000 for a corporation or $11,000 for an individual.