Home builder fined for lack of insurance and permit – Compass Building Pty Ltd and Robin Pyle

The Building Services Board has fined a Mount Pleasant building practitioner and his company $6,000 in total for starting construction of a two-storey house in Doubleview without the required home indemnity insurance (HII) or building permit.

Compass Building Pty Ltd (BC33514, expired) was fined $3,500 for negligence under WA’s building registration laws. The company’s director and nominated supervisor at the time of the Doubleview project, Robin Pyle (BP4373), was fined $2,500 for failing to properly manage and supervise a building service.

The City of Stirling lodged a complaint with Building and Energy after finding brick walls completed on the ground floor in July 2018 even though a building permit application, submitted in March, had been twice delayed due to the builder’s failure to provide a HII certificate. Compass Building had taken a $35,750 deposit from the home owners in June.

The City ordered work to stop and Compass Building and the home owners mutually agreed to terminate a $550,000 contract entered into in January 2018. Compass Building’s building contractor registration expired in June 2019. The owners have since obtained a Building Approval Certificate for the unauthorised works and another registered builder completed the house.

Building and Energy A/Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said the requirement for a builder to obtain a HII policy is a fundamental protection for consumers and building work should never commence without relevant approvals in place.

“Carrying out building work without a building permit contravenes WA’s building laws, the obligations of a registered building service provider and the expectations of the community,” he said.

“The issuing of a building permit is an important part of WA’s system of building control because it ensures building plans meet the required building standards and that only qualified builders can undertake the building work. When builders by-pass this process they jeopardise building safety, leading to potentially faulty or even hazardous building works.

“The lack of a HII policy leaves owners exposed to potential loss should any building defects be found within six years from practical completion.

“The fines could have been even higher in this case but there was no prior history of this type of conduct and the respondents cooperated with the investigation and admitted their misconduct.”

Mr Abdoolakhan also offered some advice for future home buyers who are building.

“Builders have a legal requirement to provide a copy of a HII certificate to the home owners, before construction begins and consumers can protect themselves by ensuring they get that important insurance document before paying any money,” he said.

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