WITH storm season just around the corner, Queensland home-owners are being urged to use appropriately licensed tradespeople to repair damage and look out for dodgy tradies.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) Commissioner, Brett Bassett, said owners risk sustaining more damage by using random people who show up at their door.
Known as ‘natural disaster chasers’ or ‘disaster chasing’ tradies, these tradespeople often go door-to-door offering dodgy repairs.
Earlier this month, a massive hailstorm in SEQ caused an estimated $110m in insurance losses.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia, hours after the devastating thunderstorms, dodgy tradies started door-knocking damaged homes.
How to avoid being scammed
Queensland Police recommend home-owners do not open the door to a tradesperson that haven’t organised to see and don’t be pressured in to making a quick decision or paying anything upfront.
They also recommend getting at least three quotes first, checking credentials, licences and registration before work is agreed to, having everything in writing and always getting a receipt with the tradie’s name and street address on it.
Mr Bassett said home-owners with insurance should check with their insurer first about how the repairs will be dealt with.
“They normally have a set procedure with pre-approved, licensed tradespeople to undertake work. You need to liaise with your insurer, even if you want the damage fixed urgently.
“Anyone else needing a tradesperson should always use the free licence check on the QBCC website to confirm if a person is appropriately licensed.
“Unscrupulous or unqualified individuals will not work to the same standard of a QBCC licensee, and the work won’t be protected by the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.”
How to spot a ‘travelling tradie’
Queensland Police said home-owners can spot a ‘travelling tradie’ by the way they call uninvited, prefer cash, don’t have any qualifications or licences, won’t supply a written contract or proper receipt and often drive a vehicle without business branding.
How to qualify a tradie
When it comes to finding a tradie for storm repair work, Queensland Police advise home-owners ask potential tradies if they are fully licenced, how long they have been in the business, how many times they have done this particular job and if they are covered by insurance and had a claim against them.
They also advise asking whether a permit is needed, how payment is required, whether they can get references for the tradie’s most recent jobs and if they can come and see the job beforehand.
Every tradesperson must have insurance to protect workers and home-owners in the event of an accident or mishap, experience, reputable proof of providing quality work and a business licence or ABN showing business details.
How to report and find tradies
To report an unlicensed tradesperson, contacting the Queensland Building and Construction Commission here.
The QBCC website also offers a free Find a Local Contractor search to help consumers locate a local, licensed and skilled tradesperson here.
For more info from Queensland Police on dodgy trades, see here.