26 September 2023

Flooded victims warned to dodge dealers

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Victorians beginning the flood recovery process are being warned by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to watch out for unregistered practitioners.

State Building Surveyor at VBA, Andrew Cialini warned consumers to check that any builder or plumber advertising services in the wake of the emergency events was registered and/or licensed.

Mr Cialini said it was unfortunately common for unscrupulous operators to take advantage of a crisis and offer services when they weren’t qualified to do so.

“We encourage all Victorians to check whether a practitioner they are hiring is registered and or licensed to carry out the services they are offering,” Mr Cialini said.

“In Victoria, building practitioners must be registered with the VBA to perform certain kinds of work, so do your research and ask for some key information up front, so there are no shocks later on.”

He said consumers should be wary of anyone offering their building or plumbing services via online marketplaces and through apps.

“With the rise of online apps and websites where anyone can advertise their services without qualifications, it’s important to always check the credentials of anyone you hire,” he said.

“You can check whether the builder or plumber you’re looking to use is registered with the VBA and whether they’ve faced any disciplinary action,” Mr Cialini said.

“We want consumers to be in a position to make informed decisions especially where it may impact their safety and wellbeing.”

Regulatory Operations Executive Director at VBA, David Brockman said the building and plumbing watchdog would be on the lookout for any practitioners or would-be tradies breaking the rules.

“We will not hesitate to hold practitioners to account if they don’t follow the correct steps when repairing homes or if they work unregistered or unlicensed,” Mr Brockman said.

“Protecting the Victorian community is our top priority and while most practitioners do the right thing, a small few doing the wrong thing damages community trust in the industry, this will not be tolerated.”

Further information on checking practitioner credential can be accessed at this PS News link.

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