Queensland property owners are being warned to beware “disaster chasers” operating in storm-affected areas.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has published advice from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to home owners, urging them to only use appropriately licensed tradespeople to repair damage left from recent storms.
According to reports, “disaster chasers” are lurking in areas including Springfield, Greenbank, Rosewood, Boronia Heights and parts of the Sunshine Coast.
The sole purpose of a disaster chaser is to “make a quick buck” in areas impacted by natural disasters.
According to the QBCC, these operators will repair things to a sub-par standard or leave works uncompleted.
Not only will a disaster chaser purport to repair damage quicker and cheaper, they are also likely to ask for money up front, claim to be from your insurer without any proof, will pressure individuals into signing a contract up front, or may even offer a “free property inspection” where they claim to find damage that cannot be identified.
QBCC commissioner Brett Bassett said owners risk sustaining more damage using unlicensed operators.
“If you have insurance, check with your insurer first about how your repairs will be dealt with,” he advised.
“They normally have a set procedure with pre-approved, licensed tradespeople to undertake work.”
Mr Bassett said property owners need to liaise with their insurer, “even if you want the damage fixed urgently”.
“Unscrupulous or unqualified individuals will not work to the same standard of a QBCC licensee, and the work won’t be protected by the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme,” he flagged.