by: Harvey Grennan
Councils have been warned to look out for counterfeit home owner’s warranty insurance certificates which leave owners without protection against defective building work or their builder going bankrupt.
The peak body for private building certifiers, the Association of Accredited Certifiers, says it is aware of builders using fake insurance certificates to hoodwink clients into signing home building contracts. This saves the builder thousands of dollars on each job.
”At present, it is virtually impossible for an accredited certifier or a home owner to check the authenticity of an insurance certificate that has been provided by a builder,” the association’s executive officer, Jill Brookfield, said. ”What we need is a secure system where insurers can upload bona fide insurance certificates and where certifiers and home-owners can log in and know they’re seeing the genuine article.”
”The Minister for Fair Trading, Anthony Roberts, has indicated that there is the potential for a public register of home warranty insurance certificates, however such a portal must be fully accessible to accredited certifiers before they issue a construction certificate.”
The association has also called for the home warranty insurance scheme to be extended to flat buildings over three storeys. ”All residential home purchasers must be protected in the same way,” Ms Brookfield said.
This article was written by Harvey Grennan and originally published on smh