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Panel beater living in my campervan

By ThatUniStudent 17 January 2012 66

After having my campervan in for repairs for almost a month and a half, I was alerted by it’s alarm late last night. That itself is not unusual, it has a motion sensor alarm that sends me text messages when it is set off. I get them all the time when it is on, but it was programmed to only send them outside of business hours. Anyway I got one last week near to 10pm so I drove down to the panel beaters to investigate. Sure enough the lights in the campervan were on. So I grabbed a rather large and convenient car lug wrench and went to investigate. Instead of a crook, there’s the panel beater making himself at home in the back of my campervan. I stood there wondering what to do, and after trying to yell at him he switched off the light and went to sleep. The van at the time was in a fenced yard where I could not get to it.

So the reason why there’s been no work on my van is that the panel beater is now using it as a temporary home. 🙁

So anyway I rang him and demanded he start work on the van, got the usual promises and bullcrap from him. Last night the alarm went off again so I went to investigate and there’s someone asleep in the back of the van again. They were snoring loudly and didn’t wake up even when I shook the van. I didn’t have the spare key on me so I could not force him out of it.

I’ve had enough and will go claim the van back tomorrow. But after a month and a half I’ve got a van that still needs work on the rust, that has devalued. That now has batteries that were new and are now a month and a half older. Plus I’m paying for ongoing costs like insurance etc.

I checked the ACT Fair Trading web site and found a link to the ACT Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Repair Industry) Act 2010

On page 17 of the PDF version, section 25 it states:

“Licence condition—time to carry out work
It is a condition of a licence that the licensee—
(a) complete motor vehicle repair work in a reasonable time; and”

So I figure a week would have been a reasonable time, a month and a half is not. I think it is about time this guy lost that licence. In theory I should complain to the Office of Regulatory Services, but has anyone done anything like this before? Any tips on if I am wasting my time? Any suggestions on a better solution?

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66 Responses to
Panel beater living in my campervan
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So, OP, what happened when you reporeted this to the police?

Grrrr 3:25 pm 20 Jan 12

I-filed said :

sounds as though your squatter may be one of these “tourists” …

No, it doesn’t: Read comment #31 – the guy has been in business here for years.

NoImRight 10:30 am 20 Jan 12

MWF said :

NoAddedMSG said :

I’m not hugely surprised by the story – we have painters at work doing a large commercial job over summer and found they were sleeping on the premises when we had to sort out a plumbing disaster late one night – they were very pissed off to be woken up and we were very suprised to find them sleeping there. (I’m in the accommodation industry, so plenty of spare beds.)

Let me guess, Iranian painters?

Yep them Eyeranians are famous for sleeping.

far_northact said :

The phrasing used and the interesting stories of this op, suspiciously remind me of the old op ‘homeless’.


I-filed 7:27 am 20 Jan 12

Apologies for not believing you That Uni Student – ABC has just run a story about there being literally hundreds of panel beaters illegally in the country & working on hail damage. Dept Immigration wants people to phone and report anything they know and said they will investigate every report – sounds as though your squatter may be one of these “tourists” …

far_northact 8:28 am 19 Jan 12

The phrasing used and the interesting stories of this op, suspiciously remind me of the old op ‘homeless’.

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