Rockingham tradesmen want Xtra protections

Steve Ridley, Darren Morris, Charlie Ridley, Dave Coote and Colin Knight, with Lee Stroud at the front.
Steve Ridley, Darren Morris, Charlie Ridley, Dave Coote and Colin Knight, with Lee Stroud at the front.

A GROUP of tradesmen are angry that not enough is being done to recoup their losses incurred by a disgraced local builder.

Trading as Xtra Construction, Gary Alan Cramphorn sub-contracted Lee Stroud of Leeroy Plastering, Charlie and Steven Ridley of Torain Electrics, Darren Morris of Over The Top Ceilings, Dave Coote of Rockingham Safety Bay Concreting, Colin Knight of Complete Bathroom Renovations and John Nixon of Anytype Electrical to various jobs during 2014 and 2015.

With their work long complete, almost two years on they claim they are all yet to be paid.

Collectively the tradies say they are owed almost $35,000, with each also out of pocket for their own debt recovery costs on top of the original debt.

They are frustrated that little protection is in place for tradies who are owed money by builders.

Mr Stroud did work to the value of $6500 for Xtra Construction in 2014.

He said small companies just can’t absorb losses.

“We have enlisted a debt collector and they have been unable to touch him,” he said.

“But now the bank has taken over, as they have moved in to recoup their losses.

“The banks will recover their money, followed by his wife and if anything is left it will be divvied up between myself and the other tradesmen,” Mr Stroud said.

“Some of us have paid a fee to have our names included on the title deeds in a bid to recover our losses.”

The Courier has tried unsuccessfully to contact Mr Cramphorn about the sub-contractors’ complaints.

Xtra Constructions’ listed phone number has been disconnected and the Crompton Road unit has been sold, according to a real estate sign on the premises.

The property he was rumoured to be living at was also discovered to be empty and for sale when the Courier visited yesterday.

For Mr Stroud, the addition of debt recovery costs has taken his debts to $10,000.

“The worst thing is we have taken these steps to recover our money, not knowing whether we will get our money back,” he said.

“We are out of pocket and now we have a huge tax bill on money we still haven’t received.”

“We still have to pay our materials and wages. He doesn’t take any responsibility; it’s just not right when there are small companies out there.”

Robert Gilbert is a Warnbro resident who has an unfinished renovation from Xtra Construction dating back to two years ago.

His property and three others – one each in Waikiki and Calista and another in Warnbro – were the subject of an order from the Building Commissioner.

Mr Gilbert hopes to receive an insurance payout soon that will allow him to get the work completed.

“I agree with the tradesmen; there needs to be tougher scrutiny of builders,” he said.