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Auckland homeowner left $20,000 out of pocket

18 April 2016

Auckland homeowner left $20,000 out of pocket over botched plumbing renovations

Auckland man Shamsher Ali, of Shams Construction Works Limited, has been fined $9,000 and ordered to pay $15,000 in reparation for carrying out sanitary plumbing at a home in Mt Roskill when not registered or licensed.

Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand and it is illegal for anyone to do this work unless they are authorised to do so by the Board.

The average fine for sanitary plumbing offences imposed by the Courts in the past two years prior to the Mr Ali’s offending has been $1,000 - $2,000. The fine the Board sought represented a considerable increase from the average, which reflects both the scale of the offending and the significant damage caused.

The maximum penalty for the offence is $10,000 and the Judge accepted that in all of the circumstances, this case was within the most serious category of its kind.

The Board’s Chief Executive, Martin Sawyers said; “There are serious health and safety risks associated with sanitary plumbing carried out by an unauthorised person. Any defective plumbing work has the potential to cause disease and serious damage to the home. In this case, the poor workmanship led to gases venting in to the home, and water damage incurring repair costs of over $20,000 to the homeowner.”

The original toilet pipe in the ensuite of the Mt Roskill property had not been disconnected and had instead been tiled over, resulting in gases venting into the ensuite. Further, a toilet pan connector did not have a rubber seal. Every time the toilet flushed, water from the toilet splashed out in to the complainant’s wardrobe. Many pipes were not properly connected. The resulting water damage from defective work incurred over $20,000 in costs to the homeowner for both bathrooms at the property to be completely rebuilt.

“It is important for homeowners to know that plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work undertaken by unauthorised tradespeople, not only risks health and safety–but may also invalidate your insurance policy,” Martin continued.

“To stay safe and avoid any risk it takes on simple action–ask to sight a licence card. Legitimate tradespeople authorised by the Board are required to produce it. It states their credentials and the type of work they are licensed to carry out.”

Shamsher Ali, of Shams Construction Works Limited was sentenced in the Auckland District Court on 14 April 2016.

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