Unlicensed roofer prosecuted for representing himself as an LBP

On: 27 July 2018

An unlicensed roofer from Upper Hutt, who falsely held himself out as a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP), has been prosecuted in the Wellington District Court.

Mr Aaron Wells, led a homeowner to believe he was an LBP, and licensed to supervise and sign off restricted building work on the roof of the Upper Hutt home.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Investigations Team Leader Simon Thomas says, “Mr Wells had his LBP roofing licence suspended in 2015 for failing to apply for relicensing and it remained suspended until it was cancelled in 2017. He wasn’t at all licenced to carry out the work.”

When the homeowner questioned Mr Wells on whether he was licensed, he assured the homeowner he was licensed and proceeded to provide his LBP number, which she kept for reference.

Mr Wells had advised the homeowner he was too busy to do the work himself, but arranged for an unlicensed roofer to do the roofing work, which he would supervise. The roofer began work in July 2016, but the job was left incomplete.

“This is a clear breach of the Building Act 2004, where Mr Wells has claimed to be licensed to carry out or supervise restricted building work.

“Adding to that, Mr Wells has breached the trust of a consumer by falsely representing himself as an LBP.

“Restricted building work must either be carried out or supervised by an LBP and that regulation is in place for a reason. It relates to the structure, weathertightness and fire safety of a building – so this is in the best interest of New Zealanders’ safety,” says Mr Thomas.

Mr Wells has been fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $2,500 in reparations to the homeowner for financial loss and emotional harm.

“Where MBIE has evidence of unlicensed restricted building work happening, we will prosecute accordingly. That alone should send a clear message to tradespeople throughout New Zealand.

“We also encourage consumers to check their LBP’s licence card against the details on the public register of LBPs.

“Consumers have an important part to play in ensuring that the tradespeople they’re using are licensed to do the work,” says Mr Thomas.

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