Gold Coast homeowners are increasingly subjected to allegedly “free compliance audits” by Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspectors. To justify their jobs in a depressed market with almost nil construction activity, Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspectors act like desperate door-to-door salesmen knocking on the doors of homeowners who have upgraded hot water systems. There is no legislative requirement for these audits to occur, and the homeowner does not need 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 can assess the work if invited to do so by you. No Gold Coast plumber is asking them to evaluate the work, as none of us sees any value in doing so. Neither Gold Coast City Council nor its plumbing inspectors take any risk or responsibility, so their inspection is of no real value except to justify their jobs.
If Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspectors arrive unannounced at your door, he has no right of entry. He may request access 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. They do not inform homeowners 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.
Several clients of Whywait Plumbing that have received these unexpected visits were shocked when we phoned to say their hot water service we installed six months ago has had a defect notice issued. In every instant, as long as Whywait Plumbing receives the defect notice, we undertake the “repairs”, which invariably are that the tempering valve 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 and your obligations, 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 conducted.
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.
If you get an unexpected knock on the door from a Gold Coast City Council plumbing inspector, we recommend you decline to allow them entry to your home. However, declining access does not affect you as they walk away, and the file is closed.
However, suppose you have had a defect notice issued. In that case, we recommend allowing 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 reassure you and ensure that due process is complied with.