Increasingly Gold Coast home owners are being subjected to allegedly “free compliance audits” by plumbing inspectors from Gold Coast City Council. To justify their jobs in a depressed market with almost nil construction activity Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspectors  are acting like desperate door to door salesmen knocking on the doors of home owners who have had hot water systems upgraded. There is no legislative requirement for these audits to occur and there is no requirement by the home owner to allow them to enter their home.

To fill in time and justify their jobs Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspectors are  undertaking “audits” that are not requested and are unannounced. The plumbing inspectors are knocking on the door and stating they are there to inspect the hot water service.   Legally they are able to assess the work if invited to do so by you. No Gold Coast plumber is asking them to assess the work as none of us see any value in doing so. Neither Gold Coast City Council or its plumbing inspectors take any risk or responsibility, so their inspection is of no real value except to justify their own jobs.

If a Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspector arrives unannounced at your door then he has no right of entry. He may request entry by your invitation to inspect work that pertains to the form 4 plumbing contractors are legally obliged to lodge, but that is the absolute limit. If you refuse him entry then he must immediately depart. Unfortunately the plumbing inspectors are loose with the truth and make out that they are legally obligated to undertake this audit and do not inform home owners that it is optional and not a legislative requirement.

The individual plumbing inspectors are not to blame for these events but are forced to do so as they work in an appalling atmosphere at Gold Coast City Council. It has been common knowledge within the plumbing industry for many years that the Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspectors are a deeply troubled organisation with bullying, abuse of power, nepotism, cronyism and double standards a daily occurrence.

A number of clients of Whywait Plumbing that have received these unexpected visits have been shocked when we have phoned to say their hot water service we installed 6 months ago has had a defect notice issued. In every instant as long as Whywait Plumbing receive the defect notice we undertake the “repairs” which invariably are that the tempering valve that is legally required to deliver hot water at 50 degrees is over temperature. To date every home we have returned to is between 1-3 degrees over temperature. To see more information on the requirements of tempering valves click here.

Many of our clients have told us that they do not want the plumbing inspectors returning to their homes to re-audit. This we have conveyed via email to Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspectors on behalf of our clients. As a result we had a phone call from the Gold Coast City Council plumbing & drainage supervisor, Brian Till recently who informed us we should be encouraging our clients to have the re-audit undertaken otherwise we will remain responsible for the defects despite our notifying Gold Coast City Council that rectification work has been undertaken. Furthermore Brian Till advised that the property will have registered against the title that there are outstanding plumbing defects which can have severe financial repercussions if you wish to sell your home.

Our recommendation if you get an unexpected knock on the door from a Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspector is that you decline to allow them entry to the your home. Declining entry has no repercussions for you as they walk away and the file is closed.

However if you have had a defect notice issued then we recommend that you allow a re-audit at a time that is suitable for you to ensure no defects are registered against your property. If you desire we will attend at no cost, to give you reassurance and to ensure that due process is complied with.

 

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