Simon Corbell is warning of builders borrowing licensing details.
The practice, known as „ghosting? occurs when an unlicensed builder or company enters into a contract using a licensed builder (a third party) on paperwork provided to the directorate. Usually the licensed builder is paid by the unlicensed builder for this fraudulent practice.
“There is a very good reason that builders need a licence and this practice will not be tolerated,” Mr Corbell said.
“The use of building licence details by another person is unlawful. Should anything go wrong, the consequences will be felt by all parties: the builder, the licensed builder whose details are being used, and most of all the homeowner who employed the unlicensed builder to undertake the work.”
ESDD is investigating a number of incidents involving building ghosting which have come to light recently and breaches may incur penalties under the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004. Penalties can include monetary fines, being deregistered and being barred from holding a licence.
In addition, ghosting may result in penalties under the Australian Consumer Law. The maximum penalty for false and misleading representations is $220,000 for an individual and $1.1 million for a body corporate.
If you have a house currently being built, check your own building contract and confirm that your builder is licensed at http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/topics/hiring_licensing/employ_professional/builders.
Complaints can be made to ESDD via email@example.com or on 6207 3022 or http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/topics/design_build/regulation/complaints.