NSW Fair Trading administers fair trading laws and looks after the rights of consumers. At the same time we advise businesses and traders on fair and ethical practices. The aim is to achieve fairness for all in the marketplace.
Informing consumers and traders about their rights and responsibilities is an essential ingredient of this work. Being informed empowers consumers to make better purchasing decisions and is the best defence consumers and traders can have against marketplace scam artists.
You can lodge a complaint online following easy step-by-step instructions, or at your local Fair Trading Centre. This is a free service.
Fair Trading received a total of 41,811 complaints in 2010. The top 10 most common complaints are listed below:
Know what you are entitled to when it comes to refunds, returns and warranties. Every consumer in New South Wales should feel confident they are getting what they pay for. Refer to Smart consumer survival tips (PDF size: 928kb) to prevent problems in the marketplace.
No. You should contact NSW Industrial Relations at www.industrialrelations.nsw.gov.au for advice on employment and workplace related issues.
Fair Trading does not provide hard copy of legislation, however, it is available from our website to download. Alternatively you can purchase a printed version from www.shop.nsw.gov.au or by calling 1300 656 986.
While Fair Trading’s guarantee of service for all licence applications is 30 working days, some trade licences can be issued on the spot in Fair Trading Centres.
Likewise, for renewal of licences, Fair Trading guarantees that all licences will be renewed with 14 working days of a renewal form being received, but some can be renewed on the spot in Fair Trading Centres and all home building licences and certificates can now be renewed online.
Owner builder permits are issued on the spot at Fair Trading Centres.
Visit Applying for or renewing a licence for more information on the specific licence you require.
NSW Fair Trading customer service standards.
You are entitled to ask the trader for a refund if the item you bought is:
However, the trader does not have to give you a refund if you simply changed your mind. Instead of requesting a refund, you may wish to negotiate with the trader to repair or exchange the item.
Many people are scammed every year in Australia. It is often difficult to identify and track down the scammers but it is very important that scams are reported. Apart from reporting suspected frauds to the Police in your state, you can also check on Fair Trading's list of known scams to see if the suspected scam is a common one. If the scam is from a business or person in New South Wales it should be reported to Fair Trading. If the scam originates from a business in another state or from overseas it should be reported to SCAMwatch.
You need to apply at any Fair Trading Centre and show that:
You must also provide:
Read all about home warranty insurance:
Home warranty insurance
The statutory warranty on all residential building work is separate to the home warranty insurance.
For contracts entered into prior to 1 February 2012, the warranty on workmanship is 7 years from the date of completion. This covers both structural and non-structural defects. This means that your tradesperson is responsible for his/her work for 7 years. For more information, go the Definition of completed work section on the Contracts web page.
For contracts entered into from 1 February 2012 onwards, the statutory warranty period is 6 years for structual defects and 2 years for non-structual defects. If the loss becomes apparent in the last 6 months of the statutory warranty period, then the home owner has a further 6 months from becoming aware of the loss to enforce the statutory warranty.
Read more about how to resolve building disputes.
You can check a licence online through our online Home building licence check.
Home building licence check
Alternatively, you can ring Fair Trading on 13 32 20. Make sure you have the tradesperson’s licence number, name or company name when you call.
Visit Licence classes and qualifications and click on the licence or certificate class you are interested in.
Fair Trading cannot inspect defects until a complaint has been lodged. For information on the dispute resolution process, visit Resolving building disputes.
There are five types of home building licences issued by Fair Trading. They are:
For information on the ASP Scheme and for lists of service providers, visit Electricity network connections.
Yes. You call 13 32 20 or visit a Fair Trading Centre in person.
Fair Trading Centres
Alternatively, you can go to the Australian Business and Licence Information Service (ABLIS) designed to assist with the type of licences or government permits your business may need. For more details visit ablis.business.gov.au
No. For information about applying for an ABN visit the Australian Business Register on the Australian Taxation Office website at www.abr.gov.au
Under no circumstances should you stop paying rent. Landlords are obliged to organise any urgent repair, as soon as reasonably possible, after having been notified of the fault or damage.
If the landlord or agent cannot be contacted or does not carry out urgent repairs within a reasonable time, you can spend up to $1,000 and be reimbursed within 14 days by the landlord/agent. Always keep the receipts.
After the final inspection your landlord or agent should fill out a Claim for refund of bond money form, which you both need to sign and forward to NSW Fair Trading - Renting Services. You should never sign a blank or incomplete form. You can get a refund by direct deposit or cheque.
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