Building company director fined for deceiving Golden Bay block owners

MISLEADING: The Golden Bay block owners were provided a list of addresses on behalf of the company, including so called 'high end homes'. Photo: File Image
MISLEADING: The Golden Bay block owners were provided a list of addresses on behalf of the company, including so called 'high end homes'. Photo: File Image

A director of a registered building company has been fined $8,000 by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for deceiving clients about the company's previous projects and for failing to ensure that the company's projects were properly managed and supervised which resulted in numerous defects.

Marco Marusco, director of bankrupt Perth business, M3 Building and Construction, was dealing with prospective clients in June 2014 who planned to build a house on a block of land at Golden Bay.

Before signing, the clients wanted to see properties built by the company. Mr Marusco provided a list of addresses on behalf of the company, including so called 'high end homes', but none were actually built by the company. The clients viewed the homes and were so impressed they went ahead with signing the contract.

During mediation, Mr Marusco admitted his actions had caused the company to breach the Building Services (Registration) Act by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct in connection with a contract for the carrying out of a building service.

The disciplinary action by the Building Services Board also involved Mr Marusco's failure as a director to ensure that the company's building projects were properly managed and supervised, resulting in a large number of defects at the sites.

This was due in part to the directors not establishing robust systems and ensuring arrangements were in place to adequately manage and supervise the projects. Another contributing factor was the company not allowing its nominated supervisors to have effective control of the building services carried out on the sites.

There was also a period of about six months in early 2015 in which the directors allowed the company to continue construction without a supervisor.

Inspections of the sites found numerous issues: installation of incorrect materials, unapproved deviations from approved plans; non-compliance with applicable building standards; unacceptable building practices; poor workmanship; and many defects not detected and rectified in an efficient and timely manner.

Executive Director of Building and Energy Saj Abdoolakhan said the behaviour of both the director and company was unacceptable.

"There is no place in the industry for deceiving prospective clients into signing a contract by falsely claiming credit for the work of others," Mr Abdoolakhan said.

"Also, Mr Marusco failed as a director by not ensuring the company's nominated supervisors properly managed and supervised its building services. Mr Marusco's failure contributed to the company's building services not complying with approved plans and specifications or acceptable building practices.

"The result has been building projects with scores of defects needing to be rectified and owners being extremely dissatisfied at not getting the standard of construction that the community reasonably expects."