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How to avoid a bad builder

26 April 2017 | 9 minute read
Construction badbuilder

Despite doing as much research as possible, some builders are not always what they appear to be. Here’s how one investor survived a terrible experience with a builder.

When renovating a new property, property managers need to ensure they hire the best person for the job. However, dodgy builders can sometimes slip through the cracks.

Speaking to sister publication Smart Property Investment on The Smart Property Investment Show podcast, investor David Shih said property managers need to stay vigilant in order to detect scam artists.


Mr Shih said he had met a builder in person several times and they had established a rapport ahead of a $25,000 renovation. But the builder vanished after receiving a $4,000 deposit, leaving Mr Shih shocked and out of pocket.

“I could not track him down at all. I spent over a year,” he said.

“I signed a work order, I sent it to him. We agreed on the start day, then I was never able to reach him again.”

Even the builder had provided examples of his work and had come recommended, Mr Shih said he should have checked his licences before hiring him for the job.

When stung by a scammer, Mr Shih recommends notifying Fair Trading and the police.

In order to avoid getting scammed, property managers should always “do your homework”.

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