The Risks of Unlicensed Tradespeople
Very simply, engaging the services of an unlicensed tradesperson risks damage to your property, a substandard job, by unskilled workers, leaving you with uninsured work, a hefty bill and often more problems that you started with!
Often after engaging the services of an unlicensed tradesperson, you will need to call a licensed tradesperson to come and fix the mess left behind!
According to Mr Roberts of Fair Trading, “Last financial year there were 37 prosecutions of unlicensed tradespeople across NSW. During the same period, Fair Trading received 204 complaints or enquiries about unlicensed home building tradespeople.” And those are the ones being reported.
A Fair Trading survey carried out of 1,000 NSW homeowners who had hired a home building tradesperson in the past 18 months also found:
- While 93% of homeowners are aware that a license means a tradesperson is registered with the appropriate authority, only 13% believe it’s necessary to check that a tradesperson is licensed.
- Less than 50% knew that plasterers, painters, floor tiles and fencers need to be licensed.
- Almost 50% said they would use an unlicensed tradesperson if they were recommended by someone they trust.
Why use a Licensed Tradesperson?
Appropriate Education, Training and Experience.
Ask yourself this question: “Would I go to an unlicensed dentist or let an unlicensed surgeon perform surgery on me?” The answer is obvious in these cases, so then why hire someone unqualified for the job you’re asking them to do?
A licensed tradie who has gone through extensive training and testing in order to get a license is usually committed to their trade and wants to do the best job they can for you. They have invested their own time and money into education and developing the necessary skills to get a tradie license, and they will guarantee that they will provide quality work.
When hiring someone, you should always look at their trade license and qualifications first and confirm they are licensed to do the kind of work you need them to. This will give you peace of mind that the person you have engaged has the right qualifications to do the job.
Licensed Tradies Can Save You Money
You may be familiar with the line “I can do that for half the price” and you may ask yourself “Why should I hire a licensed tradie when an unlicensed tradie can do the same job for less?”
Many people choose to work with unlicensed tradies, e.g. plumbers, to save money, in the belief that an unlicensed tradie is cheaper. Sometimes this is true, and it’s a case where you get what you pay for. Hiring an unlicensed tradie also means accepting the risk of spending more money in the long run, as they will have less experience, and are more likely to make mistakes that can be extremely costly to repair and cost you a lot more in the long run.
Insurance and Consumer Protection
A licensed tradie is required to have liability insurance. If insured, a tradie can be held responsible for any property damage or personal injury that results from their negligence. By hiring unlicensed tradies, they will not be insured and cannot be held accountable for any mistakes. Any property damage or personal injury that is a consequence of the work they do will be the responsibility of the homeowner, you.
Safety Comes First
A licensed tradie will always make you and your property’s safety a top priority. They are aware of all the safety protocols and codes needed to work safely and with quality assurance. It’s important to have the appropriate education, and continue it, as regulations and codes can change. Keeping up to date ensures their work will meet safety requirements and pass all relevant inspections.
Did you know that you are required by law to use licensed tradies for certain jobs, e.g. plumbing? Or that any job that requires an inspection must be carried out by a licensed tradie in order to pass the inspection?
For plumbing, this is due to your plumbing system being vital to the functioning of your home, specifically bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. Just think of the inconvenience of a burst pipe in your home, along with the health and safety implications.
Plumbers in NSW are regulated by NSW Fair Trading, and all work must conform to the Plumbing Code of Australia. All plumbing work requires the use of an appropriately licensed tradesperson to carry out the work.
Will you be asking to see a license next time?
Hopefully this has helped explain why it’s so important to hire tradies with the right knowledge, training and experience you can trust to work on your property. Licensed tradies have worked hard to achieve their license, want to do the best job they can for you, and can be held accountable through insurance if mistakes are made. You are also required by law to only hire a licensed tradie for certain jobs, like plumbing.
Clearway Plumbing & Drainage – Your Local Plumber on the Central Coast
We are a fully licensed and insured local plumber with over 20 years experience serving the people of the Central Coast.
We can help with any plumbing problem, including emergency plumbing, maintenance, blocked drains, leaking toilets, leaking taps, hot water services, gas services, pumps and rainwater tanks, and bathroom and laundry renovations. If you need help and would like to avoid these pitfalls, please give us a call.
We cover all of the Central Coast, including Tumbi Umbi, Killarney Vale, Berkeley Vale, Chittaway Bay, Tuggerah, Wyong, Bateau Bay, Shelly Beach, Toowoon Bay, Long Jetty, The Entrance, Glenning Valley, Ourimbah, Lisarow, Wyoming, Niagara Park, Narara, Gosford, Holgate, Matcham, Wamberal, Erina, Springfield, Terrigal, Forresters Beach, Avoca, Kincumber, Green Point, Kanwal, Mardi, Point Clare and Palmdale.