WA Unlicensed Plumber Didn't Finish Job - Refund?

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25 January 2016
Hi everyone,

I recently employed a plumber to do a bathroom/laundry renovation. She told me the plumbing would cost 8 to 9K. I paid her just over 11K (including the cost of a new hot water system she deceived me into buying), then when the job ended up not finished and full of problems, I contacted the WA Building Commission and Energy Safety.

It turned out she was not a licensed plumber or gas fitter but an apprentice and had misrepresented herself in this regard. She was given a rectification notice by the Building Commission and paid a former workmate to rip out and replace most of what she'd done. Energy Safety is taking disciplinary action against her for performing illegal gas-fitting work. I have lodged a complaint with Consumer Protection who have informed me I am entitled to compensation for consequential loss, as tiling I'd had done had to be ripped off so plumbing work she'd done could be replaced, and they are prepared to try and get some money out of her based on quotes I have supplied them with.

What is not clear is whether I am entitled to a partial refund on the money I paid her for her services because she fraudulently misrepresented herself as a qualified expert when she was obviously incapable of doing the job properly (as well as unlicensed when it came to gas work). An ex-lawyer friend and I have been combing legislation but are unable to come up with an answer. She obviously misrepresented herself, which every piece of legislation (as well as Consumer Protection guidelines etc) says is 'unlawful', but we can't figure out if I can pursue her, through the Magistrates Court for instance, for 'damages' or 'compensation' beyond the costs she incurred in paying another plumber to fix her stuffed up job.


Well-Known Member
19 April 2014
Can you put forward both arguments?

1. for the larger amount you want

and if not, then

2. at least, the partial amount