A builder faced an allegation that he carried out restricted building work before a consent was issued.

The work originally did not involve changes to the existing fireplace.  Part way through the owners decided to install a new firebox and one was obtained and placed in the house so the owners could get a feel for the best location.

A visiting council building inspector saw the fireplace and wrongly assumed it had been installed without a consent.  They complained to the Building Practitioners Board, which decided to have a hearing into the builder’s conduct.  The owners declined to attend the hearing, but luckily for the builder the fireplace installer did attend and confirmed that the fireplace had not been installed.

The builder was so annoyed to be dragged through a disciplinary process over the issue he refused to attend the hearing.

The Board criticised his non-attendance, but as he had retired from building in the meantime, decided not to summons him to force his attendance.  It accepted the fireplace installer’s evidence that there had been no installation by the builder and found the builder not guilty of carrying out unconsented work.


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