Builder fined $30k for illegal pool

A GLENROWAN man operating a pool business at Yarrawonga has been fined more than $30,000 after building an in-ground swimming pool at Mulwala without Corowa Council approval.

Ian Andrew Lee produced a belated and fraudulent certificate of home warranty insurance to the council which gave development approval.

But an investigation by NSW Fair Trading discovered the certificate was fraudulent and Lee, 50, was charged with four offences under the Home Building Act.

The charges said he received a $22,390 deposit for the pool which was more than 5 per cent of the contract price, began construction without home warranty insurance, knowingly used a false home warranty certificate and demanded and received payment from a consumer without the warranty insurance.

Lee, who trades as Leisure Pools Yarrawonga, did not appear in Albury Local Court yesterday and was convicted in his absence.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood imposed fines of $7700 on each of the four charges along with court costs and professional costs.

The total penalty for Lee was $31,732.

Ms Greenwood was told Lee held a contractor’s licence for 12 months from September 15, 2009, and then obtained another from July 21 last year.

He accepted $2990 payment in June last year as deposit for installing an in-ground pool in Amaroo Court at Mulwala.

Lee was contracted to install the pool on July 11 and demanded and received another payment of $19,400, making a total of $22,390.

That was more than 5 per cent of the contract price and was received before work started on September 12.

He lodged a development application with the council on July 20 and was advised by letter on August 3 that consent was available if he had an owner-builder permit or certificate of home warranty insurance.

The pool was completed on October 7.

A property owner contacted the council on October 11 and was told development approval had not been issued.

Lee received a penalty notice from the council on November 3 for completing the job without warranty insurance.

He subsequently sent a warranty certificate to council on November 10.

But a check by a Fair Trading investigator in March this year discovered it was fraudulent.