Construction company faces three years suspension

A Victorian commercial building company is facing imminent suspension for up to three years for breaches of the Building Act 1993, relating to the construction of a balcony in Taylors Hill where the builder ignored a direction to fix building work given by the relevant building surveyor.

Nader Property Constructions Pty Ltd (CDB-U 63915) was also penalised $17,500 by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) for ignoring the direction to fix.

After ignoring an initial verbal direction to fix cracks in the bricks and mortar, the company was directed to demolish the brick pier as the masonry had been disturbed and was unstable, creating a life safety issue.

A structural engineer inspected the balcony construction and found it contained flaws, with the pergola installation misaligned and the concrete filled brick pier being both cracked and also misaligned.

The company also illegally demanded money for the building work required to comply with the direction to fix.

The VBA’s Executive Director Regulatory Operations David Brockman said balcony safety is paramount and the regulator had taken decisive action against the company.

“When practitioners don’t follow the rules, we will take all appropriate action to protect Victorians.”

“Ignoring a direction to fix is a serious breach of the law. To then demand money to fix the poor workmanship is both a breach of trust and a contravention of the law, and one we take extremely seriously.”

“Consumers shouldn’t be out of pocket when a practitioner breaks the rules, which is why a direction to fix can be issued,” Mr Brockman said.

“Building surveyors play a vital role in ensuring practitioners follow the rules. In this case, the relevant building surveyor acted swiftly in reporting the builder’s inaction to the regulator.”

Nader Property Constructions’ suspension will not apply if it complies with the direction and shows evidence of fixing the defects for the consumer. The penalty is payable regardless, and the builder has made arrangements to pay.

“This enforcement action sends a strong message that breaking the rules won’t be tolerated.”

“It’s critical that balconies are constructed properly, if not, the consequences can be fatal,” Mr Brockman said.

For tips on balcony safety visit the VBA website. Visit vba.vic.gov.au/check to check if your builder or plumber is registered or licensed.