Complaint decisions – April 2024

The Building Practitioners Board hear and investigate complaints made against Licenced Building Practitioners (LBPs) about unsatisfactory work or breaches of the LBP code of ethics. The outcome of each complaint is published on the LBP website at

Shalen Prasad Lal

Shalen Lal was engaged by the homeowner to do a renovation on an existing dwelling. The Board found, based on failures to follow the consented drawings and the manufacturer’s instructions and out-of-sequence construction causing fundamental mistakes, together with the inadequate level of the Shalen Lal’s supervision, that the matters reached the seriousness threshold and that a disciplinary offence had been committed.

The Board held that Shalen Lal had negligently carried out and supervised the building work and that Shalen Lal had carried out and supervised building work which did not comply with the building consent.

The Board also found that Shalen Lal had committed the offence of failing to provide a Record of Work on completion of the Restricted Building Work.

The Board decided that the Respondent would be fined $3,000 and ordered to pay costs of $3,500.

Case 2

The Respondent submitted a Building Consent application to the Council. It did not contain the necessary engineering details. A Special Advisor’s report also identified inconsistencies and missing information in the plans and specifications submitted with the application.

There were two issues before the Board:

  1. The first concerned an alleged breach of principles 13 and 14 of the Code of Ethics. The Board needed to consider whether the Respondent failed to advise his client of the potential consequences of not including the relevant engineering information with the Building Consent application and, if so, whether the seriousness threshold to warrant a disciplinary finding had been reached.

  2. The second issue was whether the Respondent was negligent or incompetent in the carrying out of the design work for the failure to include the engineering information in the consent application and the inconsistencies and missing information further identified in the Special Advisor’s report. In the Board’s view, the design, as submitted to the Council, did not meet Building Code requirements and was not capable of being constructed on the information provided. As such, the Board found that the Respondent had carried out the design work in a negligent manner. 

As regards the alleged breach of the Code of Ethics, the Board decided that the Respondent had failed to adequately advise the Complainant (the homeowners) and this was a breach of principles 13 and 14 of the Code. The Board decided to take an educative approach to the breach of the Code of Ethics and, as such, it censured the Respondent.

In respect of the negligent design work, the Board ordered the Respondent to pay a fine of $3,500. Costs for the hearing were set at $3,500.

A record of the disciplinary offending will be recorded on the Public Register for a period of three years.

David Curl

David Curl altered the search date of a Certificate of Title and presented it as part of a Building Consent application to make it appear as if the search copy was not more than three months old. A complaint was made that the Respondent had breached the Code of Ethics for Licensed Building Practitioners.

The Board found that the David Curl’s actions were deliberate, were designed to deceive and had put at risk the trust system on which much of the consenting process is based. As such, the Board found that there had been breaches of the Code of Ethics but that the conduct went beyond unprofessional and unethical. 

It was conduct that, when viewed objectively, would lower the reputation of the licensing regime and of Licensed Building Practitioners in the eyes of the public. As such, it was disreputable conduct. 

The Board decided that it would suspend David Curl’s licence for six months and order that he pay costs of $1,500.