An unregistered builder who contravened Victorian consumer and domestic building contract laws has been ordered to pay penalties totalling $46,200, plus costs of $5,000.
We took civil action against Micheal Arrow (also known as Michael Arrow), 49, of Doreen, after investigating complaints from consumers.
A hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court found that Mr Arrow contravened the Domestic Building Contract Acts 1995 (DBCA) by:
- demanding and taking excessive deposits for work
- entering into major domestic building contracts while unregistered, and
- not disclosing required information to clients.
Mr Arrow was found to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) (ACL (Vic)) by:
- engaging in false and misleading conduct by telling a customer he was registered when he was not
- accepting payments for work but not supplying all the work within a specified or reasonable time.
In one instance, Mr Arrow quoted $109,000 for building works, and took a deposit of $27,250, well above the five per cent deposit allowed under the DBCA for works costing more than $20,000.
In another case, Mr Arrow took a deposit of just over $13,000 for a job quoted at $43,375.
As well as paying the penalties for the ACL (Vic) contraventions and costs, Mr Arrow has been ordered to not:
- describe himself as a registered builder until he is registered
- enter into any major domestic building contracts (that is, where the works cost more than $10,000) unless registered as a builder
- demand or accept deposits of more than 10 per cent, if he performs work with a contract price of $10,000 or less.
Mr Arrow must also:
- keep copies of documents including receipts, customer orders and contracts
- attach a notice as the front page on his domestic building contracts advising that he is not a registered builder, and therefore cannot do works costing more than $10,000 until such time as he is registered nor take deposits more than the amount permitted under the DBCA.