Court action undertaken by Consumer Affairs Victoria has secured compensation of more than $9400 for a Narre Warren home owner.
Murray Lu Developments Pty Ltd, formerly located in Carlton, and its former representative, 54-year-old Murray Heyhoe, were fined a total of $14,000 after pleading guilty to four charges in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
The unregistered building company was convicted after it failed to finish major renovation work.
In January 2008, Murray Lu Developments undertook to install a wall to divide a house at Narre Warren into two properties. The contract specified a cost of $94,619 for the work, to be completed that May.
A 10 per cent deposit was paid, but by May the consumer had discovered that the plans were never sent to the local council for approval.
Further investigation revealed that the company that drew up the plans had not been paid. Murray Lu Developments promised to return in June to commence the work but never turned up and ended communication with the consumer.
Acting on a complaint, Consumer Affairs Victoria commenced criminal proceedings which resulted in the awarding of $9462 in compensation (the amount of the deposit) for the Narre Warren woman, along with significant penalties.
Murray Lu Developments was convicted of four breaches of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 and the FairTrading Act 1999 - entering into a contract while unregistered, taking a deposit in excess of 5 per cent, failing to supply services within a reasonable time and falsely representing an affiliation with the Master Builders Association of Victoria.
Murray Lu Developments was fined $5000.
Mr Heyhoe admitted the same four breaches and was ordered, without conviction,to pay a $9000 fine with legal costs of $546.