New Zealand Law Society - Fine imposed after false Licensed Building Practitioner claim

Fine imposed after false Licensed Building Practitioner claim

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Aaron Wells has been fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $2,500 in reparation for financial loss and emotional harm after being prosecuted in the Wellington District Court for falsely holding himself out as a Licensed Building Practitioner, MBIE says.

Mr Wells had his LBP licence suspended in 2015 for failing to apply for relicensing and MBIE says it remained suspended until it was cancelled in 2017.

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

MBIE says 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," says MBIE Investigations Team Leader Simon Thomas.

“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.

MBIE says consumers are encouraged to check their LBP;s licence card against the details on the public register of LBPs.

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