Levin builder fined for presenting himself as a Licensed Building Practitioner

On: 2 October 2018

Unlicensed builder, Karl Whitfield has been sentenced in the Papakura District Court for wrongly holding himself out as a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) and carrying out restricted building work on an Auckland home.

Mr Whitfield engaged with a homeowner to carry out restricted building work on the primary structure of an Auckland home, which must be carried out or supervised by an LBP.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Investigations Team Leader Simon Thomas says, “Mr Whitfield is not an LBP, and has never been an LBP, yet he undertook work he was not licensed to carry-out and that was above and beyond his competence levels.

Mr Whitfield told the homeowner that he would fill out council documentation on restricted building work before an inspection, knowing that he was not licensed to do so. He then told to the homeowner he had notified the council even though he had not.

The work Mr Whitfield carried out included: jacking up the house, stripping flooring, removing existing piles, digging piles and disassembling the chimney.

The Auckland homeowners paid Mr Whitfield $15,000 to complete this work, however Mr Whitfield did not complete the job and stopped going to the site after three weeks.

Mr Whitfield pleaded guilty and was handed down a fine of $3,000 and ordered to pay $1,000 in emotional harm reparation to the homeowner.

Mr Whitfield had previously applied for an LBP Foundations licence in August 2015 but when an interview was required because his application did not demonstrate his competence, he ceased contact.

“Tradespeople must be licensed to carry out restricted building work. This is crucial to the safety of New Zealanders, and where we have evidence of this being jeopardised, we will take action.”

“Consumers also have an important part to play in ensuring that the tradespeople they’re using are licensed to do the work.

“When engaging tradespeople, it’s important they check the LBP’s licence card against the public register of LBPs,” says Mr Thomas.

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