2015 Licensing Changes for Tradies
As a Sydney homeowner, it’s not only important to choose reliable tradespeople for your home improvement and repair projects, it’s also important to note licensing changes that affect tradies you may be hiring.
The recent NSW licensing changes for tradies and builders in Sydney were made effective in two stages, one in January 2015 and the other in March 2015. We are well into 2015, so these new regulations are in force.
Before the new laws, tradies were restricted in the types of projects they could work on without being licensed based on the financial limit of $1,000. Now tradies like carpenters, handymen, and painters in Sydney can do more without a licence as long as the value of the job is under $5,000. The potential risk with this change, is now that certain tradies may be offering services for jobs they may not be fully experienced in like painting a house, tiling or cabinetmaking.
Note, all specialty tradespeople (i.e. plumbers, electricians, and air conditioning services) must have licensing regardless of the value of the project.
2015 Homeowner Checklist for Choosing Tradies
It’s up to each tradesperson to ensure that they have the appropriate licensing and insurance cover. However, it’s up to you, the homeowner, to ensure you are hiring a licensed tradesperson before you start a home improvement project. After talking to Sydney homeowners and licensed tradies we compiled this small checklist of things to consider when you are hiring tradespeople.
Are they licensed and qualified for the job?
If the home improvement or repair project you are having done is under $5,000 (specialty tradespeople are the exception), you can hire a handyman in Sydney to do odd jobs around your house including painting, decking, tiling etc. But just because they don’t need a license anymore, it does not mean they are experienced to do a quality job. More important than ever, homeowners need to do their own checks to ensure a tradesperson is really suitable for the job. Check their credentials, ask for recommendations, pictures of work and if the job is more than $5,000 make sure they are licensed.
Are they registered with an Australian Business Number (ABN)?
Homeowners should not be shy about asking a tradesperson for their ABN. Before you accept a quote for a job from tradies, like for plumbers in Sydney, ask for their ABN. You can verify it online by doing an ABN Lookup on the Australian Business Register (ABR) (www.abr.business.gov.au).
Are they covered with the right insurances?
Knowing the tradie you have chosen for your project is properly insured with public liability insurance gives you the peace of mind of knowing you are protected should an injury or damage occur on your property. Note, this is a mandatory requirement for any trade business whether it’s electricians, handymen, builders or landscapers and regardless of the value of the job. Always ask for a copy of their current insurance policies.
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