Unlicensed builder used forged counsel consent

An unlicensed builder has admitted doing alterations on a Riccarton house and using forged documents relating to the building consents.

Travis Jansen, of Old School Builders (Christchurch) Ltd, told the property owners that the Christchurch City Council was “a pain to deal with”.

When one of the owners said she wanted the process to be undertaken properly, Jansen said he had a friend in the council who could help in having the necessary consents processed quickly.

Jansen pleaded guilty before Judge David Ruth in the Christchurch District Court to charges of carrying out restricted building work when he was not licensed, doing work without a building consent, using a forged document, and using a forged document to get a financial advantage.

Judge Ruth remanded him at large – no bail was required – for sentencing on August 3. He asked for an assessment of his suitability for home or community detention, and referred the case for a possible restorative justice meeting with the owners.

Jansen was living at Rolleston at the time he was charged. The court was told yesterday that he was now living in Masterton and working in Wanganui.

Christchurch City Council prosecutor Sean Mallett said the house owners engaged him to renovate their kitchen, remove an internal wall, and install a beam into the roof of the house in Pururi Street, Riccarton.

The owners received a bill which included $1436 for “council costs”, referring to the acquisition of the building consent. Jansen showed the owners the building consent documents which were on Christchurch City Council letterhead.

No building consent had been applied for or issued. The invoice was paid in full.

Another $15,000 invoice for the building work was also paid in May 2017.

The work was then done on the house. A building consent was required, but none had been applied for or issued. Jansen was not a licensed builder and was not under the supervision of a practitioner with a licence.

In June 2017, he told the owners that a council inspector had been on site for an hour-and-a-half and the building had passed the inspection.

That same night, the owners noticed problems with the gib board Jansen had installed. They asked him to redo that work, but there was no response.

Three days later, the owner said her father would complete the rest of the work and asking for Jansen to send an itemised list of materials and labour so that she could organise a refund for the remaining work. Jansen sent this through, but said he was still owed $3239.

He emailed through a Code of Compliance Certificate, but it was forged and had not been issued by the council.

Mr Mallett said Old School Builders was removed from the Companies Register on June 20, 2017.

He said Jansen had not responded to a request by the council for an interview.

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