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September 12, 2016

Warning to check claims, as fake builder fined $20,000

 

Proof if it were needed that everyone should check the credentials of the building practitioners they employ, as the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) successfully prosecutes well-known home builder Mentor Gormani, director of Gormani Homes Pty Ltd.

The director of the now deregistered building company was prosecuted by the VBA in the Dandenong Magistrates Court and fined $20,000 for claiming to be a qualified builder when he wasn’t.

Gormani built homes as far away as Tarneit in the west and Cranbourne in the southeast of Melbourne, holding himself out to be a qualified builder when he wasn’t.

Gormani Homes then entered into a number of contracts for building projects at several sites around Melbourne using the registration numbers of other registered building practitioners to falsely obtain insurance.

When his company went into liquidation and a number of its clients made insurance claims for unfinished work, they were refused on the basis that the insurance was taken out in a different builder’s name to the builder named in the relevant contracts.

Gormani portrayed himself as qualified to practise as a building practitioner, telling consumers he was a quality builder while never actually having been registered as one.

Following an investigation by the VBA, Gormani was charged with several offences including holding out as being qualified to practise as a building practitioner, holding out as being covered by the relevant insurance, carrying out building work without a building permit and making a false statement.

He pleaded guilty to nine charges and was ordered to pay fines and costs of $30,900.

VBA CEO Prue Digby says this was a positive result that will send a clear message to others who might seek to undermine Victoria’s building regulatory system.

“The rules and regulations requiring building practitioners to be registered and to operate with the appropriate insurance exist to safeguard Victorians who build and renovate.

“Those who seek to operate outside these rules and regulations undermine the building industry and erode consumer confidence in honest, registered building practitioners who take pride in their work and deliver an excellent product for Victorians.”

You can check whether your builder is registered through the “Find a Practitioner” link on the VBA website.

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