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WA Building Commission WA Order - Dispute It?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Michy, 24 May 2015.

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  1. Michy

    Michy Member

    24 May 2015
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    Hi. We had a tiler complete some renovation work some time ago... he charged us for work which wasn't completed (he charged us for rendering walls when only a small amount of patching was required, and he charged us for screeding when he used the existing screeding).

    He also charged us for excess materials which were never used or delivered (ie he charged us for 26 bags of tile adhesive when only 12 bags were delivered and used).

    There are also some defects to the work which was completed, so I withheld the final payment for all of these reasons (we had made progress payments throughout the works).

    The Building Commission have sent us an order to pay him the balance, they advise that it is up to us the consumer to prove that the work was not completed (photos don't seem to show sufficient evidence), and to prove that goods WERE NOT provided/delivered? (I thought under consumer law that the supplier would have to prove goods WERE delivered?)

    Also the final demand from the tiler was for a lesser amount than what the Building Commission are ordering us to pay (the tiler included a deduction on his final demand, however the Building Commission are using the total of his last two invoices)? I'm confused - surely if we have to pay him it would be the amount that he reduced (I'm not sure what the deduction consisted of but obviously he knew there was a reason for a discount).

    So, looking for some help regarding Australian Consumer Law - should we pay this order?

    I don't want to end up in debt $000's of dollars in legal fees for a $3k debt, but on principle this guy knows exactly what he can get away with and will continue to charge consumers this way!
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

    10 February 2015
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    Hi Michy,

    Are you certain that the amount the Building Commission has ordered is the tiler's last two invoices and not the invoice plus the adjudicator's fee? If you are sure about how the fee was calculated, it is possible that the tiler claimed that you were owing more than he charged you when he responded to your claim to the adjudicator.

    The building commission has likely put the onus on you to prove that the goods weren't delivered because you have initiated the complaint.

    If you are unhappy with the adjudicator's decision and you think you have reasonable grounds to dispute it, you can apply to the magistrates court. Here is a link for how to lodge a consumer/trader claim:
    Because the amount in dispute is less than $10,000, you won't need to have legal representation which will substantially reduce your costs.

    Here is the link to all the fact sheets on civil matters in the magistrates court. Civil Matters
    If you click on the fact sheet about lodging a consumer/ trader claim (first link), it will reference you to other fact sheets that are all accessible from the link above.

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