The Victorian Building Commission is getting tough on unregistered builders. In the past, fines placed on unregistered builders were little more than a slap on the wrist of a few thousand dollars. Worth taking the risk if you are turning over hundreds of thousands of dollars, right? Not any more.
In a prosecution of a builder in June, a fine was imposed of $100,000 plus legal costs. This was not just some extreme, one off case. As the building commissioner, Michael Kefford said after the judgement
“This case should send a strong message to the building industry that the Building Commission will hold unregistered builders accountable. This is a warning to all individuals operating without the appropriate building registration with the Building Practitioners Board. If you operate illegally, you will be prosecuted.”
As the Victorian public becomes aware of the desirability of using registered builders, and are being informed of their rights in the case of a complaint against unregistered builders, the risk for builders operating without registration, or operating using someone’s else’s registration has never been greater. Not only are they at risk of big fines, all their existing projects will be shut down.
This new blitz on unregistered builders has occurred after an Ombudsman report into the building industry, and the appointment of a new commissioner who has already dismissed of a number of inspectors for alleged misconduct.
While I cannot comment on the effectiveness of the old Building Commission, it is quite clear that the new commissioner is determined that the law will be enforced.
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