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Hilda ‘ditched’ by builder who was paid in February for job

Hilda Salter, pictured with her daughter Diane Carolan and son Craig Salter, inside the unfinished carport - after waiting for the builder to finish the job started in February. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Hilda Salter, pictured with her daughter Diane Carolan and son Craig Salter, inside the unfinished carport - after waiting for the builder to finish the job started in February. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill

AN elderly Mount Morgan woman has been left at least $3000 out of pocket after her builder allegedly failed to finish the job.

Hilda Salter, 79, claims she handed over $13,000 in cash to the Rockhampton man in February this year.

She said he was supposed to replace the roof on her home and the walls of her carport.

Nine months later, Hilda is still waiting for the construction to be completed.

While the roof has been done, Hilda said the guttering is yet to be started and the carport has barely been touched.

Ladders, tools and building materials remain scattered around the house.

"I just want answers ... I want to know if he's going to finish it or not," she said.

"I've got cancer and I've been having chemo(therapy) ... it's not very nice."

But try as they may, Hilda, her carer and son Craig Salter and her daughter Diane Carolan cannot get a hold of the builder.

"He used to answer and give us all these excuses, but now we can't get a hold of him on the phone," Diane said.

She said she had even been to his house and received no answer.

The Morning Bulletin attempted to contact the builder via the number provided to Hilda, but the calls went unanswered.

The family have reported the matter to the local Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), who are investigating.

Diane said they had recently been informed the man does not hold a builder's licence.

Hilda said she didn't sign a contract and hadn't received any receipts, despite requesting one.

"What he's been putting mum through is not helping," Craig said.

"We put our trust in him and this is how he repays us. You hear of these things happening, but you never think it's going to happen to you ... people taking advantage of elderly people."

The family said their last contact with the contractor was three months ago. Hilda said she wanted to warn others of the dangers.

FINDING A CONTRACTOR

Make a list of local contractors you think can do your job. Take time to research.

Check the contractor's licence by calling QBCC on 139 333.

Get at least three quotes.

Ask the contractor for details of recent clients.

Select your contractor and obtain a copy of the contract. Seek legal advice on anything you don't understand before signing.

Never pay the full price up front or too large a deposit.

For more info visit qbcc.qld.gov.au

Topics:  builder, cash, queensland building and construction commission



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