A Perth tradesman with a history of non-compliance has been fined $27,500 for ignoring an official order to fix defective kitchen renovation work.
At Perth Magistrates Court on 7 January 2022, Mal Afrasiabi, of Salter Point, was found guilty of breaching WA’s building complaints laws following a prosecution by Building and Energy.
The court was told that in January 2020, Mr Afrasiabi entered into a $16,100 contract to renovate the kitchen at a Riverton house including new cabinetry, doors, drawers and a stone bench top.
At the time, Mr Afrasiabi was a sole trader using the unregistered business name Mal’s Building Services.
The home owner later lodged a complaint with Building and Energy about workmanship issues with the project.
A Building and Energy inspector identified 12 instances of faulty or unsatisfactory work including misaligned surfaces, doors, panels and drawers; chipped or peeling materials; incomplete or undersized cupboards; and uneven grout.
In September 2020, the Building Commissioner issued a building remedy order that required Mr Afrasiabi to rectify the defects within 28 days. No part of the order was carried out, which is an offence under the Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act 2011.
In addition to the $27,500 fine, Magistrate Matthew Holgate ordered Mr Afrasiabi to pay costs of $1,139.30. His Honour noted Mr Afrasiabi’s prior non-compliance with other Building and Energy legislation, including:
- a $19,000 fine in 2016 for 15 building registration and contract offences;
- a $3,000 fine in 2017 for carrying out unlicensed electrical work; and
- a 2018 order for Mr Afrasiabi to repay $53,850 to a consumer following a building matter at the State Administrative Tribunal.
Building and Energy Acting Executive Director Nabil Yazdani said building service providers would be held accountable if they did not uphold their responsibilities.
“The building complaint resolution process is an important mechanism to ensure parties get a fair go,” Mr Yazdani said.
“Failure to comply with a Building Commissioner’s order is not only illegal, it can mean home owners feel uncomfortable or even unsafe at their own properties if building issues are not rectified.
“In this case, the work had to be completed by someone else, leaving the home owner inconvenienced and out of pocket. The significant penalty in this matter should send a strong message that building service providers cannot simply ignore their obligations.”