Home loans customers 'should check qualifications of builders'

People with home loans who want to increase the value of their abodes by adding extensions or making other changes have been warned to ensure they check that those they employ to undertake work are properly qualified.

According to New South Wales Fair Trading, 22 builders have had their licences cancelled since 2006 for breaches of the Home Building Act.

The latest to be prosecuted was Moustafa Nahle, who was fined £34,169 by Parramatta Local Court for carrying out more than $100,000 worth of work without a licence.

Anthony Roberts, fair trading minister, said: "Fair Trading regularly visits home building traders to ensure they are following the law. There is no excuse for operating illegally and traders face heavy penalties."

According to the Globe and Mail, a report by Scotia Capitial indicates that the housing boom in Australia has started to "languish", which may mean those who own their own homes will be more likely to stay put and try to improve the properties they already have.

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