Many homeowners are seeking a reliable tradesperson to work around the house before Christmas, but WA’s consumer watchdog is warning people not to pay too high a deposit.
Consumer Protection director David Hillyard says that people should not necessarily expect to pay more than a 10 per cent deposit, despite many workers asking for more.
Only if something was being custom-made should a deposit close to 50 per cent of the total cost be expected, he said.
People should also ensure their tradesperson included in their quote a time frame for how long the project would take and a picture of the work to be done, Mr Hillyard said.
The warning comes after a tradesman was fined $3000 in Perth Magistrates Court and was ordered to repay a total of $4400 to two customers after he accepted deposits but failed to carry out the work.
Rodney John Howard Gulley, trading as North Shore Limestone of Carramar, received a $1400 deposit for the $2800 construction of a limestone wall that was never built.
He also accepted a $3000 deposit for a job quoted at $6300, which included submitting plans to the council – work that was never done.
Mr Hillyard said people should always check the reputation of their tradesperson via the internet and social media.