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Protect your home renovations from shonks and unlicensed operators

Local MPs Stuart Ayres, Tanya Davies and Bart Bassett are encouraging people who are hiring tradespeople to pick up a copy of the Consumer Building Guide from NSW Fair Tradingfor information about choosing the right tradesperson, required insurance, written contracts and what to do if things go wrong.

“The Fair Trading publication the Consumer Building Guide, is an essential read for anyone thinking about building or renovating,” Mr Ayres said.

“First and foremost, protect yourself against inferior building practices by only dealing with a licensed builder or tradesperson.”

A licence check can be quickly and easily done by calling Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visiting

Any person who carries out residential building work in NSW worth more than $1,000 in labour and materials must have a licence. A licence is required for any specialist work, such as plumbing, electrical, air conditioning and refrigeration – there is no threshold on the value of work.

Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies said home warranty insurance is an integral part of the consumer protection package and must be obtained by the home building contractor where the contract price is over $12,000. Insurance must be arranged before the commencement of work and before demanding or receiving any payment.

“Before you start any building or renovation work over $1,000 (including materials) there must be a written contract in place with your chosen builder or tradesperson,” Mrs Davies said.

“The contract is the most important piece of documentation relating to your building work and it should spell out every aspect of the work to be done and at what price.

“Read the contract carefully before you sign it and don’t sign the contract if you don’t understand it or if you think something is missing.”

Member for Londonderry Bart Bassett said things don’t always go to plan when you’re building or renovating so it’s best to be prepared, know your rights, and know who can help you if things don’t go smoothly.

“Fair Trading offers a free dispute resolution service to help you and your builder or tradesperson settle any problems between you,” Mr Bassett said.

“There are other options too and Fair Trading will help to guide you towards a solution.

“With any problem, first talk to the builder or tradesperson and try to resolve the issue.”

For more information about home building and renovating including a copy of the Consumer Building Guide, contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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