Ball brothers caught in NSW Fair Trading home warranty insurance crackdown

Ball brothers caught in NSW Fair Trading home warranty insurance crackdown
Ball brothers caught in NSW Fair Trading home warranty insurance crackdown

Stephen Alun Ball, a director of BSB Metro Pty Ltd, has been convicted of fraud over the falsification of a home warranty insurance (HWI) certificate. Last month he was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment to be served by way of Intensive Correction Order.

His brother and co-director Bryan Ball was convicted of operating without a licence and fined $3,000 with a total penalty of $7,348.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said Stephen Ball stood to secure a financial advantage of more than to $570,000 for his business by falsifying a HWI certificate.

At the time of the offence, companies were required to supply HWI for all contracts exceeding $12,000. This threshold has since been raised to $20,000.

“Companies failing to provide proper insurance continue to expose home owners to significant potential consumer detriment,” the Commissioner said.

The court heard that in July 2010, a couple signed a contract with BSB Metro Pty Ltd to complete renovation works on their Illawong home to the value of $574,000. 

In August 2010, Stephen Ball falsified a HWI certificate after the company’s eligibility lapsed.

On 17 May 2011, the company’s building licence lapsed and was not renewed. The company continued renovating the home without a licence until November 2011. Heedlessly, Bryan Ball, the nominated supervisor, let the company continue work on the home.

In 2012 the couple claimed on what they believed was a genuine HWI policy. They were subsequently told there was in fact no record of a policy for works completed on their home.

In court Bryan Ball alleged it was his brother who took care of the administrative side of the business. He pled not guilty to the charge of completing unlicensed building work. The court did not accept this defence.

Mr Stowe said despite Fair Trading advising the company in May 2011 of the need to renew its licence, Stephen and Bryan Ball continued their unlicensed operations.

“This verdict serves as a reminder to all directors they have a duty to ensure the company’s contractor licence remains current,” he said.

“The case against Bryan Ball is an excellent example of the excuse of ‘relying on a co-director’ not being accepted by the court.”

The homeowner said the work of the NSW Fair Trading investigator was crucial to achieving the results against Stephen Ball and Bryan Ball.

Mr Stowe encouraged the public to check trade licences at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Consumers can check if a builder has given them a valid certificate of insurance by checking the certificate register at www.hbcf.nsw.gov.au

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

Tags: 
Renovation Conviction

Comments

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?