A ROCKINGHAM floorer who failed to appear at the Perth Magistrates Court was found guilty of seven charges and fined $12,500 in his absence on October 2.
The charges related to work done by Jorge Puas, a director of Mandurah business JPC Flooring Pty Ltd, at two separate homes in Churchlands in 2012 and Yangebup in 2013.
Under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991, Puas was convicted of five charges, including two of failing to provide the homeowner with the prescribed notice required.
Other charges included entering into a contract and receiving a deposit in excess of 6.5 per cent of the total value of work, and demanding and receiving a payment that was not a genuine progress payment after the work had begun.
A fifth charge was for failing to ensure the home building work contract was in writing, contained the date and all the terms of the agreement and was signed by both parties.
Puas was also convicted of two further charges of failing to comply with a building remedy order of the Building Commissioner, under the Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act 2011.
The building remedy orders involved rectification work valued at $36,358 and $6900 respectively.
Under the Act, the maximum penalty for a first offence was $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a company.
Building Commissioner Peter Gow said it applied to fixed price contracts between $7500 and $500,000.
“Tradespersons under a home building work contract are not entitled to demand or receive a deposit in excess of 6.5 per cent of the contract value or receive payments from an owner unless the payment relates to work performed or goods supplied,” he said.
“In this case, by failing to comply with the orders and with the provisions of the Act, Mr Puas has cost the owners of these two properties not only a significant amount of money but also time and amenity.”
Owners considering hiring a tradesperson can find out their rights and responsibilities by visiting the ‘Building or renovating your home’ section of the Building Commission website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission or by calling 1300 489 099.
Puas was also ordered to pay court costs of $1016.40.