Last week I spoke to the people at Consumer and Business Services to check what they require before issuing a person with a license to complete internal & balcony waterproofing. Each week we have people call asking if they can complete our 3 day course in waterproofing and then go out and work in the industry. If you have plenty of experience aside from the 3 day course, then yes, you can apply for a license but you will most likely be called in for a technical interview.
If you do not work in the building industry you need to get experience first. You could work with a tiler or an already licensed waterproofer until you have the experience to pass a technical interview. The interview covers off a lot of ‘what if’s’ you wont simply be reciting the Australian Standards, Building Code or SA Ministerial Code. You will need to have broad enough experience to answer questions across both commercial and residential work. This is because your license will enable you to work across all sites so you will need to understand the differences.
It is also helpful to attend training courses provided by one of the manufacturers of waterproofing materials. Gripset, Ardex and Mapei all provide regular training on how to use their products. Some of these manufacturers also have phone apps that let you lookup the product you need for certain jobs.
Once you feel you are ready to apply for a waterproofing license, you will need to complete the requirements that Consumer and Business Services have set out on their website. This includes completing two short courses in business law and finance.
Click here to access Consumer & Business Services guidelines for applicants. As always, if you have questions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 83675615.
Consumer and Business Services (CBS) has announced that their ‘Dob in an Unlicensed Tradie’ campaign has resulted in approximately 60 claims. On top of this, DJ Verandahs has been fined $12,500 for being unlicensed as well as having customers win civil proceedings against the owner. Below is a media release from CBS:
South Australia’s consumer watchdog has welcomed the $12,500 penalty handed down in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to a man who admitted breaching South Australian and national consumer laws. 36 year old Port Willunga man David James Jackson pleaded guilty to breaches of the Building Work Contractors Act, the Australian Consumer Law and the Fair Trading Act.
The Court heard that Jackson had accepted a deposit of $9630 to construct a pergola on a property in Mount Gambier and never actually started the work. Jackson had also accepted a $6000 deposit to build a veranda at another Mount Gambier property, and again failed to begin work. He also failed to deliver materials paid for by the consumers.
The court heard that, in the first matter, Jackson had only repaid $2900 while in the second matter, Jackson made an initial series of repayments following a civil claim and order, but then defaulted on further repayments.
Magistrate Bennett indicated that – were it not for Jackson’s guilty plea and inability to repay a significantly larger penalty – Jackson would have been fined $30,000. Instead, the Magistrate fined him $12,500, and made a compensation order for Jackson to repay $7550 to one of his clients.
A civil order is already in place ordering Jackson to repay the other client. Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said Jackson did not hold any building licence at the time of the offences. “Our licensing system is a way of ensuring consumers can have confidence in the people they hire to carry out building work,” he said. “I’d encourage anyone to check the public register before engaging a builder to ensure they’re licensed to do the job.”
To check whether a builder is licensed, visit the Consumer and Business Services website at www.cbs.sa.gov.au. To report any concerns about a builder or contractor, contact CBS on 131 882.
The Office of Consumer and Business Services has released the following articles about unlicensed builders. They ‘named names’. To become licensed visit the CBS.sa.gov.au website.
$11,000 fine for working unlicensed
An unlicensed builder who accepted substantial deposits from consumers for work he either didn’t start or made little progress on has been fined $11,000 and ordered to repay more than $11,000 to customers he left in the lurch. 27 year old Andrew James Laundy appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this week, after pleading guilty to carrying on business as a building work contractor without a licence and four counts of breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.
The court heard Laundy had accepted substantial deposits from customers to carry out renovation work, as well as fence and paving work, on properties in Parafield Gardens, South Plympton, Camden Park and Oaklands Park. In two instances, Laundy carried out a small amount of work – while in the other two cases, he failed to do any work at all.
“Cases like this highlight why it’s so important for people to do their homework before engaging the services of a builder,” Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said. “In this case, customers paid substantial sums of money – ranging from $900 to $4750 – for work that was either never started or barely progressed. “By checking the public register, customers can check whether a builder actually has a licence, and enjoy greater peace of mind when engaging the services of a professional to carry out work around the home. “I’d encourage anyone considering hiring a builder to head to the CBS website at http://www.cbs.sa.gov.au/occupational-licensing-and-registration/find-a-licence-holder/ to ensure the builder has the appropriate licence to carry out the work.” Laundy was fined $11,000 and ordered to repay the deposits to each of the four customers totalling $11,150.
Public Warning on unlicensed SA builder
A public warning has been issued by the State’s consumer watchdog against Anastasios (Tom) Manolakis, following allegations of operating as an unlicensed builder in South Australia. Acting Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, George Kamencak, said complaints lodged with Consumer and Business Services (CBS) allege that Mr Manolakis’ work is also not of an acceptable building work standard.
“It is alleged Mr Manolakis, trading as De George Services, has been contracting for building work without being authorised by the appropriate licence in South Australia,” he said. “The business, based at Clovelly Park, advertises its services for roofing, guttering, earthmoving, bricklaying and stone work, through its website www.degeorge.com.au and on Gumtree.”
People who carry on business performing building work, including all forms of roofing work, are required to be licensed under the Building Work Contractors Act. Undertaking unlicensed building work carries penalties of up to: $50,000 for a first or second offence; or $50,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both for a third or subsequent offence $250,000 for an offence committed by a body corporate.
The Acting Commissioner is urging consumers not to deal with Mr Manolakis or De George Services while complaints are being investigated by CBS. “With winter officially behind us, many people take time off work throughout the Christmas break to undertake home renovations.
This is a friendly reminder for consumers to do their research before engaging a tradesperson to undertake work on their homes. “Please ensure you are using a licensed and reputable building contractor who is qualified to do the job. You can check if a tradesperson has a current licence by using the online CBS licensing register or by asking them to produce their South Australian builder’s licence card.” “CBS takes consumer complaints seriously and regulates the industry to protect consumers and stamp out illegal conduct.” If anyone has concerns or would like to make a complaint about their dealings with Mr Manolakis or De George Services, please contact CBS on 131 882
WA builder BuiltonCorp collapses with more than $16 million in debts, as subcontractor payments remain in the spotlight
The security of payments for subcontractors in the building and construction sector are again in the spotlight after Western Australian builder BuiltonCorp collapsed into voluntary administration on Monday.
The company’s administrators are advising clients with homes under construction by the company that it’s likely they will have to find new builders to complete projects their projects.
Dino Travaglini and Jeremy Nipps of Cor Cordis have been appointed as administrators of BuiltonCorp Pty Ltd, as well as Builton Group Pty Ltd, Builton Property Holdings Pty Ltd and Aspireon Homes Pty Limited, with construction stopped on about 130 incomplete sites as the company ceased trading.
The administrators said Tuesday they are still in the early stages of assessing the company’s finances, but 38 staff had lost their jobs as the business has stopped trading. The company reportedly turned over $80 million last financial year.
An estimated $500,000 is owed to employees, while $16 million is believed to be owed to 350 unsecured creditors, many of which are believed to be subcontractors, according to the ABC.
One subcontractor, Dennis te Wierik, who owns Anstey Cabinets, told the ABC the BuiltonCorp owes his business around $1 million. He expects his work turnover to drop by 50 to 70% as a result of the voluntary administration and he has already been forced to let six employees go.
“I’m disappointed that I was led astray and was assured things were OK,” he said.
Administrators have advised suppliers to suspend all deliveries to the business, saying the company is unable to pay for them. The first creditors’ meeting will be held on February 3.
Meanwhile, home owners with unfinished building works have been told it currently looks unlikely that the company will be able to complete the projects, with administrators requesting copies of original contracts, building plans and projected costs from clients to assist with finding new builders to take over the contracts. Clients will also have to find their own construction insurance for the sites from now on.
“We are prepared to try to facilitate obtaining a new builder for you in the event that our assessment over the coming days definitively concludes that the company cannot complete under the contract,” Jeremy Nipps said in a letter to homeowners.
SmartCompany contacted the administrators for an update on potential next steps after the first creditors’ meeting next week but did not receive a response prior to publication.
Payments to subcontractors in the building and construction industry have been under scrutiny over the past year, with continuing concerns over Western Australia’s economic conditions at the mining construction boom slowdown continues.
The most recent CommBank “State of the States” report puts WA as the bottom ranked state for economic performance. The state ranked last in all eight key indicators considered, including building construction works and dwelling commencements.
In 2016, insolvency experts from Worrells said each state is facing unique problems when it comes to company collapses, although the mining slowdown is a key factor, with the flow on effects of the slowdown now also affecting businesses in Queensland as less workers flock to regional centres.
Subcontractor payments played a key role in policy debate at the end of last year, when the collapse of then-Family First Senator Bob Day’s building firms in 2016 prompted independent senator Nick Xenophon to strengthen calls for better protections for subcontractors in the event of company collapses.
The senator secured a concession from the federal government in this area when negotiating the passing of the Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation at the end of 2016, with a “security of payments” working group to be established.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has also outlined the significant pressures caused to businesses when they receive slow or no payment in subcontract arrangements.
“The reality is, many small businesses in the building sector have been stung by rogue head contractors who either don’t pay their subbies on time, or worse still, the lead contractor goes bust and simply doesn’t pay their subbies at all,” Carnell said in November.
EMMA KOEHN / Wednesday, January 25 2017 originally published http://www.smartcompany.com.au/finance/81791-wa-builder-builtoncorp-collapses-with-16-million-in-debts-as-subcontractor-payments-remain-in-the-spotlight/
Nick Xenophon was interviewed this week on ABC Radio National about supporting the Governments Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) Bills. In the interview he discusses how part of the negotiation will involve providing greater protection to sub-contractors, when builders go bust.
Also being negotiated is a way to ensure the Building Code and Australian Standards are used to stop sub-standard imported materials being used in the industry.
These are important issues, especially the protection of sub-contractor payments. As seen with the recent liquidation of Homestead Homes, most sub-contractors will lose money owed to them for work they have completed. The Security of Payments Act is seen as a way to ensure sub-contractors aren’t financially decimated when builders go bankrupt. Part of the issue is that sub-contractors have been made to feel they will miss out on work if they use the provisions in the existing Act. Another issue is that tradies who have been working as contractors unlicensed have no way to claim any payments. Having sub-contractors rights discussed is a great leap forward after so many tradies have been left out-of-pocket.
Having a trade sub contractors license gives tradies and customers protection if things go wrong. The SA Government has recently started promoting ways consumers can verify that their tradies are licensed, and has set up a website to ‘dob in a tradie’
So what do you need to get licensed? You can download the specifics and read the SA Governments requirements by clicking on this link Licensing Guidelines.
Tradies will need to complete two business units prior to applying, one that covers off legal issues, the other on small business finance. We offer a course that meets the State Governments requirements, click here to see dates and make a booking.
Along with these units you also need to provide evidence of industry experience, such as apprenticeship papers, letters from employers if an apprenticeship wasn’t completed, short courses or testimonials. Sometimes applicants will be called in to attend a technical interview. If this is the case we can offer some extra support and guidance.
If you are still unsure tradesa.com.au offer a service to advise tradies of licensing requirements, submit all documents and take the confusion away.