A builder who took deposits but failed to complete work on a new home and three townhouses, has been ordered to pay more than $64,000 in compensation.
Tranon Theos, director of Homes Free Pty Ltd (now deregistered), accepted payment from two consumers to build in the Doreen area, but failed to complete works and in one case, conducted no work at all.
Consumer Affairs Victoria took action against Mr Theos, 55, in the Melbourne Magistrates Court after receiving complaints from the affected consumers.
He was charged with breaches of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 and the Fair Trading Act 1999 by:
- entering into a major domestic building contract without being registered
- providing a contract that did not comply with or contain the prescribed information
- making false, misleading and deceptive representations. Mr Theos misled consumers by using false Building Practitioners and Master Builders Association membership numbers, and representing that his company had relevant insurance
- not completing work within an agreed or reasonable timeframe.
The court ordered Mr Theos to pay a total of $64,679 to two consumers, $2374.88 in costs and a $2000 fine.
Under Victorian building laws, a deposit for domestic building work can be no more than 10 per cent for work under $20,000 or 5 per cent for work over $20,000.
On 29 October, 2012, Melbourne County Court struck out an appeal by Mr Theos and ordered that he pay $3600.37 court costs.