Expert Residential Building Dispute Lawyers

Our expert Building Dispute Lawyers include an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation and a Solicitor with 20 years’ experience working in the building and construction industry and who had regularly prepared Building Defects Reports and given Expert Evidence in relation to building defects before coming to the law.

Need an Answer Fast? Our Home Building Lawyers will help you make complying contracts you understand, avoid foreseeable problems and resolve disputes cost effectively.

With most residential building disputes it is important to seek advice from an experienced Home Building Lawyer as soon as it appears likely that a dispute will arise.

Use the links below to navigate the information on this page or call us now for a free case evaluation:

Introduction to the Home Building Act

What is Residential Building Work?

Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act

Information for Builders

Information for Home Owners

Contractor Licence Requirements

Important Disclaimer: The information on this page is intended as a guide only and in no way constitutes or substitutes legal advice. You should seek specific legal advice on any matters of interest. Roberts Legal accepts no responsibility for any action or in action taken on the basis of the information on these pages.


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Introduction to the Home Building Act NSW

The Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) regulates the performance of most residential building work and building disputes in New South Wales. The Act also creates a number of significant protections for consumers.

The key aspects of the Home Building Act include:

  • Contracting Requirements including a requirement that a Contract for Residential Building Work to which the Act applies must be; in writing, contain prescribed information and particulars and be signed and dated by the parties to it.
  • The implication of a number of important conditions and Statutory Warranties into any Contract for Residential Building Work including a cooling-off right and mandatory warranties that go to the quality and standard of work that a builder must achieve.
  • The prohibition of residential building work or any specialist building work by or on behalf of anyone that is not the holder of a relevant Contractor Licence.
  • A requirement for Builders to provide prescribed Consumer Building Guide to home owners before entering into a contract to do work.
  • A requirement for Builders to obtain a Policy of Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund before carrying out any work or requesting or accepting any payment under a Contract for Residential Building Work with a price or value in excess of $20,000.00 (incl. GST).
  • The giving of jurisdiction to the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal as the preferred forum for the resolution of home building claims with power to make enforceable rectification orders.

Significantly, the Home Building Act provides that:

  • where a Contract for Residential Building Work is not in writing or does not have a sufficient description of the work the builder is not entitled to damages or to enforce any other remedy in respect of a breach of the contract.
  • where Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund is required a builder is not entitled to demand or receive payment of any money or carry out residential building work unless a policy of Insurance is in place and a copy of a Certificate of Currency in respect of that insurance has been provided to the home owner.

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What is Residential Building Work?

The Home Building Act only applies to ‘Residential Building Work‘.

Residential Building Work means any work involved in, or involved in coordinating or supervising any work involved in:

  • the construction of a dwelling,
  • the making of alterations or additions to a dwelling, or
  • the repairing, renovation, decoration or protective treatment of a dwelling.

Roof plumbing work, specialist work (including plumbing and drainage work, gas fitting work and electrical wiring work) and work relating to the installing of fixtures or fixed apparatuses (for example for the heating or cooling of water, air ventilation or the filtration of water in a swimming pool) in connection with the dwelling are specifically included as “Residential Building Work“.

Dwelling” means a building or portion of a building that is designed, constructed or adapted for use as a residence.  If constructed for use in conjunction with a dwelling, swimming pools, spas, garages and car ports, decks, pergolas, workshops, driveways and paths, retaining walls, fences and gates also fall within the definition of “dwelling”.

Please note that the above definitions are not exhaustive.


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Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act (NSW)

Some requirements under the Home Building Act apply to all Contracts for Residential Building work and others depend on the value (or price) of the works.  Click on the links below to learn more:


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Information for Builders

 

Information for Home Owners

 


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Contractor Licence Requirements

The Home Building Act also makes it an offence for a tradesperson to do any of the following work without a Contractor Licence:

  • Residential building work where the total cost of labour and materials is more than $1,000.00,
  • Electrical wiring work,
  • Plumbing, draining and gas fitting work, and
  • Air conditioning and refrigeration work (except plug-in appliances).

Where a Contractor Licence is required but not held the builder or tradesperson is not entitled to damages or to enforce any other remedy in respect of a breach of the Contract.


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Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act (NSW)

Introduction to Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act.

Among other things, the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) (“the Act“) regulates the contracting requirements for any person making a contract to undertake ‘residential building work‘. Importantly, these requirements apply equally to any contract variations.

The contracting requirements set out below apply to contracts entered into on or after 1 March 2015.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Significantly, where a person contracts to do residential building work is unlicensed or fails to comply with some of the prescribed contracting requirements the Act provides that (Section 10):

  • they are not entitled to damages or to enforce any other remedy in respect of a breach of the contract committed by the other party, and
  • the contract is unenforceable by the person who contracted to do the work.

In addition, it is an offence that carries a fine of up to $8,800.00 for a person to contract to do work unless the requirements of Sections 7, 7AAA and 7E of the Act are complied with (Section 7A). These requirements are summarised below.

Unlicensed Contracting

Before dealing with the contracting requirements it is important to note that it is an offence to represent that an individual, partnership or corporation is prepared to do any residential building work and/or to enter into a contract to perform any residential building work unless the individual, partnership or corporation is a holder of a Contractor License authorising it to contract to do that work (Sections 4 and 5 of the Act).

Are the Contracting Requirements Always the Same?

While some contracting requirements apply to all contracts for residential building work, other requirements and the effect of various provisions of the Act differ depending on the price or estimate of costs of the works to be performed.

As set out below, the requirements vary depending on whether the price of the works will be:

Exemptions from Contracting Requirements

The requirements for contracts for residential building work detailed below do not apply:

  • where there would likely be a hazard to the health or safety of any person or to the public or to be damage to property if the work were not done promptly and the work could not be done promptly if the contracting requirements were to be complied with before commencing the work (Section 6(2)), or
  • to a contract that is made between parties who each hold a Contractor License where each of the parties’ Contractor Licenses authorise the party to contract to do that work or a Contract to do specialist work that is not also residential building work (Section 7(8)Section 7AAA(5)).

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Requirements Applicable to All Residential Building Contracts.

The following contracting requirements apply to all contracts for residential building work under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) (subject to applicable exemptions).

Deposit

The maximum amount of a deposit that may be demanded or lawfully received for residential building work is 10% of the contract price (Section 8).

Statutory Warranties

The following warranties are implied in every contract to do residential building work regardless of the contract price (Section 18B(1)):

  • A warranty that the work will be done with due care and skill and in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract,
  • A warranty that all materials supplied by the holder or person will be good and suitable for the purpose for which they are used and that, unless otherwise stated in the contract, those materials will be new,
  • A warranty that the work will be done in accordance with, and will comply with, this or any other law,
  • A warranty that the work will be done with due diligence and within the time stipulated in the contract, or if no time is stipulated, within a reasonable time,
  • A warranty that, if the work consists of the construction of a dwelling, the making of alterations or additions to a dwelling or the repairing, renovation, decoration or protective treatment of a dwelling, the work will result, to the extent of the work conducted, in a dwelling that is reasonably fit for occupation as a dwelling,
  • A warranty that the work and any materials used in doing the work will be reasonably fit for the specified purpose or result, if the person for whom the work is done expressly makes known to the holder of the contractor licence or person required to hold a contractor licence, or another person with express or apparent authority to enter into or vary contractual arrangements on behalf of the holder or person, the particular purpose for which the work is required or the result that the owner desires the work to achieve, so as to show that the owner relies on the holder’s or person’s skill and judgment.

Charges Over Land

A contract may not create an interest in any land, and a provision in a contract is void to the extent that it purports to create such an interest (Section 7D(1)).

However, a clause in a contract that creates a charge over the land will not be void if:

  • The charge relates to the land non which the contract work is or was to be carried out, and
  • The charge is created to secure the payment to the holder of the Contractor License of money found to be due under the Contract by a Court or Tribunal that has made an Order or Judgment that such a payment be made (Section 7D(3)).

Arbitration Clauses

A provision in a Contract that requires a dispute under the contract to be referred to arbitration will be void (Section 7C).


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Contracts where the Price Exceeds $20,000.00 (incl. GST)

The following contracting requirements apply to contracts to do Residential Building Work where the contract price or (if the contract price is not known) the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved exceeds $20,000.00 (inclusive of GST) by virtue of the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

Consumer Building Guide

Before entering into a contract the holder of the Contractor License must give the other party to the contract prescribed information that explains the operation of the Home Building Act and the procedure for the resolution of disputes under the contract or for the resolution of disputes relating to insurance (Section 7AA(1)).  The prescribed information is the Consumer Building Guide March 2015.

Contracting Requirements

  1. The contract must be in writing and be dated and signed by on behalf of the parties to it (Section 7(1)).
  2. The contract must also contain the information and details required by Section 7(2)of the Act.
  3. If the contract price is known, it must be stated in a prominent position on the first page of the contract (Section 7(4)).
  4. If the contract price is not known or may be varied, the contract must contain a warning to that effect and an explanation of the effect of the provision allowing variation of the price. The warning and explanation must be placed next to the price if the price is known (Section 7(5)).
  5. The contract must also include a checklist in the form set out in Schedule 2 of the Home Building Regulation 2014 (Section 7(3)) and Regulation 8(b)).
  6. The contract must include (and is taken to include) each of the terms set out in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Act (Section 7E(1)).  If the Contract contains a term that is inconsistent with a term set out in Part 1 of Schedule 2 it will be unenforceable to the extent of the inconsistency.
  7. The contract must contain a statement relating to the cooling off period (see below) and the other party’s rights to rescind the contract during the cooling off period complying with Section 7(2)(g)of the Act.  If the contract does not contain such a statement the other party to the contract may by notice in writing rescind the contract within seven (7) days of becoming aware that the contract should have contained such a statement (Section 7BB(2)).
  8. It is also essential that the contract make provision for the payment of one or more authorised progress payments (see below) (Section 8A).

Other Contract Requirements

A signed copy of the contract in the form in which it was made must be provided to the other party to the contract not later than five (5) clear business days after the contract was entered into (Section 7B).

Authorised Progress Payments

It is also an offence to demand or receive payment of a progress payment under a contract or to enter into a contract pursuant to which the person is entitled to demand or receive payment of a progress payment unless the progress payment is authorised by Section 8A(4).

Whilst a contract can provide for more than one (1) kind of authorised progress payment, it is essential that the contract at least provide for the payment of one (1) or more of the following authorised progress payments (Section 8A(2)):

  • A progress payment of a specified amount or specified percentage of the contract price that is payable upon completion of a specified stage of the work and where the work that comprises that stage is described in clear and plain language in the Contract, and
  • A progress payment for labour and material in respect of work already performed or costs already incurred (and which may include the addition of a builder’s margin), where provision for a claim for payment to be supported by such Invoices, receipts or other documents as may be reasonably necessary to support the claim and where payment intervals are fixed by the Contract or stated as an “as invoiced” basis.

Cooling Off Period

Generally, a party to a contract for works over $20,000.00 (incl. GST) will be entitled to cool off or rescind the contract by giving a notice in writing at any time before the expiration of five (5) clear business days after the person has given a copy of the contract or becomes aware that they were entitled to be given a copy of the signed contract (Section 7BA(1)).

This cooling off right may be shortened or avoided by a provision in the contract, however, the provision will not take effect unless or until the other party to the contract gives a Certificate under Section 7BA(5) of the Act signed by an Australian Legal Practitioner (Section 7BA(4)).

Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund

Before any work is carried out under the contract, a Contract of Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (formally known as the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme) must be in force and a Certificate of Insurance evidencing the Contract of Insurance must have been provided to the other party to the contract (Section 92(1)). It is an offence to demand or receive payment under a contract where the requirements of Section 92(1) have not been complied with.

Significantly, where a Contract of Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund is not in force in relation to any residential building work done under a Contract the contractor who has performed the work:

  • is not entitled to damages, or to enforce any other remedy in respect of a breach of the contract committed by any other party to the contract, and
  • is not entitled to recover money in respect of that work under any other right of action at law (including on a quantum meruit basis) unless a Court or Tribunal considers it just and equitable (Section 94(1) and (1A)).

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Contract where the Price Exceeds $5,000.00 but not $20,000.00 (incl GST).

The following contracting requirements apply to contracts to do Residential Building Work where the contract price or (if the contract price is not known) the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved exceeds $5,000.00 (inclusive of GST) but not $20,000.00 (inclusive of GST) by virtue of the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

Contracting Requirements

A contract must be in writing and be dated and signed by on behalf of the parties to it (Section 7AAA(2)).

The contract must contain the information and details required by Section 7AAA(3) of the Act, namely:

  • The names of the parties, including the name of the holder of the Contractor Licence shown on the Contractor Licence,
  • The number of the Contractor Licence,
  • A description of the work to which the contract relates,
  • Any plans and specifications for the work, and
  • The contract price if known.

The contract must include a copy of the Consumer Building Guide March 2015 (Section 7AAA(4)Regulation 6).

The contract must also include (and is taken to include) each of the terms set out in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Act (Section 7E(1)).  If the Contract contains a term that is inconsistent with a term set out in Part 1 of Schedule 2 it will be unenforceable to the extent of the inconsistency.

 Other Contract Requirements

A signed copy of the contract in the form in which it was made must be provided to the other party to the contract not later than five (5) clear business days after the contract was entered into (Section 7B).


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Contracts for works Less than $5,000.00 (incl GST).

There is no prescribed contracting requirements where the contract price or the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved is less than $5,000.00 (inclusive of GST). However, it should be noted that:

  • The maximum deposit that may be claimed remains 10% (Section 8).
  • The statutory warranties will still be implied into the contract (Section 18B(1)).

Notwithstanding that there is no requirement for the contract to be in writing, it remains a recommended practice to make a written contract to:

  • avoid disputes in relation to the price or agreed scope of works,
  • include important contractual terms that create additional rights where recovery action is required (for example to recover interest and legal costs), and
  • limit or exclude liability for consequential losses to the maximum extent permitted by law.

To avoid disputes about variations, including in relation to the extra costs of variations, a written form of contract variation should be documented and signed by the parties whenever the scope of works are varied.

 


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Information for Home Builders

What should I do if the home owners are disputing a Progress Claim?

As a residential builder, obtaining payment from home owners can sometimes be a source of concern.  Of, course, prompt payments can be assisted by issuing Progress Claims when you are entitled to do so and having good communication withe home owners and processes in place to ensure Progress Claims are paid on time.  Needless to say, prompt payments usually assist in maintaining cash flow for your business and ensures that the building works can progress smoothly.  But what happens if the home owners dispute a Progress Claim?

There may be a number of reasons why home owners may dispute a Progress Claim.  For example, the home owners may disagree that you have completed the works properly, or may say that they do not agree to the amounts being charged.  Naturally, you should try to resolve any disputes about Progress Claims amicably by discussion with the home owners, particularly if you are looking to preserve the ongoing working relationship in order to finish the building works and avoid expensive litigation.

We are often consulted by residential builders about what to do when home owners are failing or refusing to pay a Progress Claim.  Early legal advice is vitally important to ensure that you know your rights and how to best resolve the dispute.  We can help you with this.  We recommend speaking to us first to obtain preliminary advice about your rights and obligations when there is a Progress Claim dispute, and before engaging in any communications with the home owners that may only inflame the situation or inadvertently cause you to breach or repudiate a contract.

Generally, the first step is to look at the terms of your building contract with the home owners to see what it says about when and how you can issue Progress Claims and the consequences if they are not paid.  For example, your building contract may provide that you are entitled to issue a Notice of Breach or begin dispute resolution procedures if the homeowners fail to pay a valid Progress Claim.

Often, taking one of these steps will result in the home owners thinking more carefully about the Progress Claim and whether there is actually any real reason to withhold payment.

Your building contract may also give you a contractual right to suspend work.  We can also help you with this and provide you with preliminary advices as to whether it is appropriate to give a Notice of Suspension.  Importantly, this may allow you to avoid keeping on working and extending further credit to the home owners where there may be issues regarding payment.

However, if you are contemplating suspending the works, it is important that you only do so when there is a clear right at suspension.  This is because if your suspension of works is not valid, you may find yourself in breach of the building contract, which may lead to you becoming liable for damages even though you were not initially in breach.  We can help you with this and we suggest that you speak to us before issuing a Notice of Suspension.

Hopefully taking some of the above steps will be all that it takes to resolve your payment issues.  However, if the home owner’s breach continues and you are not being paid, you may need to look at terminating the building contract.  Again, this will depend upon the terms of the building contract and we strongly recommend that you speak to us first so that we can assist you with this and advise you about this and other options that may be available to you.

Legal arguments about the validity of a purported termination of a residential building contract are common simply because all too often the parties fail to refer back to the contract when problems arise.

If you have a situation where the home owners are disputing your Progress Claim and would like some advice and assistance to resolve your dispute as quickly as possible, please contact one of our experienced Building & Construction Layers for a confidential no obligation chat.


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When can I suspend work?

If you are a builder carrying out residential building work, there may be situations when you would like to suspend the building works.  Commonly this occurs when a home owner fails or refuses to pay a Progress Claim.  This can cause problems for a builder who, naturally, may be reluctant to continue carrying out the building works where there may be cash flow issues or uncertainly as to whether the builder will be paid.

If the building contract is not suspended properly, however, the suspending party may itself be in breach of the contract and become liable for damages even though they were not initially the party in breach.  In some cases, the invalid suspension may constitute repudiation of the contract and entitle the home owner to terminate the contract.  If this happens the builder may face a claim for the additional costs of a third party completing the works.

It is, therefore, important that you exercise great care to ensure that the suspension is valid and will not itself create more problems.

In most cases, a suspension will only be valid if it is carried out in accordance with the terms of the relevant building contract between the parties.  Often, a building contract will provide the builder with a right of suspension where the home owner is in substantial breach of the contract and the appropriate notices have been given.  We can help you with this by reviewing your building contract and providing you with advice about when and how to suspend the works.

Generally, a builder cannot suspend the building works unless there is a contractual right to do so. If your business uses “standard form” building contracts, we can help with reviewing your contracts and drafting suitable Special Conditions to ensure that they deal with suspension rights appropriately and provide you with adequate protections.

In addition to contractual rights, in some circumstances, for example, where the owner is a development company or the home is to an investment property which is not owner-occupied, the builder may have additional rights to suspend the works under the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act.

Importantly, a right to suspend the works will only arise under the security of payment laws if a valid Payment Claim has been served.  We can also assist with this and give you advice about the validity of any Payment Claims that you have served and your ability to suspend work validly under the security of payment laws.

If you require advice or would like to know more about when you can suspend work, please contact one of our experienced Building & Constructions Lawyers for a confidential no obligation chat.


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Can I still Recover Payment for Variations and Extras where there is No Written and Signed Contract Variation?

If you enter into a contract with a home owner to undertake residential building work and the contract price exceeds $5,000.00, then the Home Building Act provides that any variation must be in writing and signed by both parties prior to the variation works commencing.

If a variation is not in writing and signed by both parties, then a builder cannot claim payment for that variation under the contract and will be left only with a quantum meruit” claim under the law of restitution.

A quantum meruit claim is a claim for payment of reasonable remuneration for work undertaken that cannot be recovered under an enforceable contract.  This means that the builder would, at best, be entitled to the reasonable market costs of the work undertaken, regardless of what the builder asserts was its actual or agreed costs for the works.  Such claims come with risks and typically require expert evidence in relation to the reasonable cost of the works.  In addition, a home owner may not be liable to pay the reasonable costs of a variation is, for some reason, it would not be just to order them to do so.  The award of compensation in motivation is discretionary and can involve complex litigation.

To avoid disputes and risks of not getting paid for works undertaken, we strongly recommend that all variations to the scope of works under a residential building contract be put in writing and signed by both parties prior to any varied works being commenced.

If you need assistance recovering payment for variations or would like help to prepare a standard form of Contract Variation in future, call and speak to one of our experienced Building & Construction Lawyers today.


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When does the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act apply to the Residential Building work?

Section 7(2)(b) of the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (‘SOP Act‘)  states that the Act will not apply to a construction contract for the carrying out of residential building work “on such part of any premises as the party for whom the work is carried out resides in or proposes to reside in”.

Generally, therefore, the SOP Act will only apply to residential building work performed:

  • under a subcontract, or
  • pursuant to an agreement with a property investor or developer.

While it is clear that the Section excludes construction contracts for the carrying out of residential building work on premises in which the contracting party is or proposes to reside, a more difficult question may arise where a construction contract involves, for example, the construction of multiple dwellings including one in which a party proposes to reside.

The fact that Parliament opted to limit the exclusion to a construction contract for carrying out work “on such part of” the premises in which the party proposed to reside suggests that the Section should be interpreted so that a construction contract to carry out work on the whole of the premises, in circumstances where the party does not propose to reside in the whole of the premises, will not be excluded by Section 7(2)(b).

It is also important to note that, where a Payment Claim is issued in connection with a construction contract for residential building work, it must, unlike a Payment Claim issued pursuant to non-residential contracts entered into since 21 April 2014, clearly state that  it is made under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999.

Visit our Security of Payment Guide for more information.


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Information for Home Owners

My house is incomplete and the builder is delaying, what can I do?

If works to your home remain incomplete after the period that the contract stipulates works ought to be complete, then it is likely that the builder is in breach of the contract.

Most contracts will require that a home owner give the builder a notice particularising the breach and provide that the builder has a period of time to then rectify the breach before any other action can be taken including bringing a claim for damages or engaging a third party to complete the works.

The first step is usually, therefore, to serve a Notice of Breach under the contract and provide the builder with the required period of time under the contract to rectify said breach, that is, complete the works.

If, however, the builder has refused to return and complete the work, the referral may constitute an act or repudiation in reliance upon which a home owner may terminate the contract without first issuing a Notice of Breach.

If the builder does not complete the works within the required period of time, then you have the option to terminate the contract and engage a third party to complete the works.

The termination of a contract can be a very complicated issue and many cases have been fought on whether contracts have been properly terminated.  If you do not properly terminate a contract, you could end up being sued by the builder for repudiating the contract. We, therefore, strongly recommend, if your builder is delaying completing a build, to contact a Solicitor as soon as possible so that, if termination of the contract is necessary, it is done properly.

Once the contract is terminated, you can then engage a third party to undertake the incomplete works. If you pay the third party more than you would have had to pay the builder to complete the incomplete works, you can bring a claim, either in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT“) or the Court, against the builder to recover those reasonable additional costs.  You can also claim damages for any costs incurred due to the delay in completion of the works, including storage fees, rental expenses etc, and subject to any limitation clauses in the contract.

If a home owner submits an Application to NCAT before going through the steps of providing the required notice and terminating the contract, this can cause more issues than assistance.

We strongly recommend contacting an experienced Home Building Lawyer if you have problems with completion of your build.


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How to resolve disputes about residential building contracts.

Disputes as to the timeliness, quality, value and compliance of works in residential building contracts are all too frequent. Commonly, relatively simple disputes get out of hand quickly as emotions run high and parties seek to “hit the other where it hurts”. Home owners refuse to pay and builders refuse to build.

If you’re a builder or a home owner involved in a residential building dispute, you need to act quickly to ensure that your rights are best protected.

Prevention is better than cure

Typically, home owners are provided with ‘standard form contracts’ by a builder on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis and then sign them with little or no regard for their contents.

Similarly, builders often use contracts provided by industry associations without regard for their own individual circumstances or risks that may be unique to the project that they’re about to undertake.

Builders and home owners alike should beware; one size does not fit all.

At Roberts Legal, we are very familiar with the common standard form contracts used by builders, and recommend the addition of special conditions tailored to suit your individual circumstances and project. An early consultation with us prior to signing a contract will also provide an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have and to help you understand what it is you’re agreeing to.

When a dispute arises

Most building contracts contain specific steps that need to be followed when a dispute arises. Failing to follow these steps carefully can damage your position if the dispute is not resolved and moves to Court or Tribunal proceedings.  It is important to get legal advice at the earliest opportunity to mediate and ensure that you meet all of your contractual obligations that arise because of the dispute.  Usually this will be as soon as it appears likely that a dispute will arise.

Disputes about quality of work or incomplete work

Whilst the steps in resolving disputes may vary from contract to contract, the first step is usually to give a written notice to the builder identifying the works that you consider to be defective. The notice should state that you require the works to be rectified, and allow a reasonable time for the builder to do so. Failing to give the builder an opportunity to rectify their work can be fatal to any future claim for rectification that you may have.

Typically, the contract will make provision for the issuing of such a notice, therefore, in each case it is essential to consider the terms of the contract to ensure that the notice is issued consistently with them.

When you cannot agree

It’s not uncommon for builders and their clients to disagree about whether works are actually defective. When an impasse such as this is reached, it’s time to bring in an independent expert Building Consultant to offer advice and prepare a Defects Report. Be warned, not all Building Consultants are the same. Many Consultants are overzealous, and can give clients a badly distorted picture of their true position as they strive to find as many “defects” as possible. Other consultants are inexperienced and do not properly interpret codes and standards sufficiently to protect their client’s interests.

It’s always best to consult first with a Solicitor experienced in building disputes, that can guide you through the process and refer to you a competent Building Consultant that is right for your needs.

Refusal to rectify

If the builder will still not repair defects identified by an expert report, they may be in breach of the contract or a statutory warranty implied under the Home Building Act. The matter should then be referred to Fair Trading and if it still cannot be resolved, proceedings should then be commenced in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal or Court of competent jurisdiction. Outcomes from the Tribunal include Orders for the builder to rectify works or the award of compensation of an amount that will enable the home owner to have the defects rectified by others.

Parties to a dispute in the Tribunal can be self represented in some types of matters. However, your chances of success will always be best if you seek the help of a Solicitor experienced in building disputes to assist in the preparation of your case and to represent you at directions and hearings.


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Can the Department of Fair Trading force my builder to perform Rectification Work?

For a home owner, engaging a builder to carry our residential building work, whether it is for a new home, renovations and extensions or a smaller project, can be a very stressful time.  One of the common issues that can arise and cause conflict with you builder occurs when the building works have not been completed properly and are defective.  Unfortunately, a home owner may sometimes find that some parts of the building works have either not be built to the plans and drawings or there are problems with what has been built.

In the first instance, you should always look at your building contract to find out your rights and obligations in relation to defective work.  For example, a building contract will usually require you to provide a list of defects within a short period of practical completion having been reached.  There are also other statutory warranties that apply to residential works.  We can help you with this and provide you with advice in relation to your rights.

If you are concerned about your building works and have spoken with your builder and attempted to resolve any issues amicably without success, one option is to contact the Department of Fair Trading and make use of their free, voluntary mediation service.  Both the builder and home owner need to agree to attempt a resolution in order to use this service.

As part of the process, the Department of Fair Trading may ask one of its building inspectors to undertake an inspection of the specific items complained about.  If the building inspector considers there are problems with the works, the Department of Fair Trading will issue a Rectification Order which sets out a list of work to be rectified or completed by a particular date.  It is a condition of the builder’s Contractor Licence that a builder comply with a Rectification Orders issued by the Department of Fair Trading.

Generally, attempting mediation through the Department of Fair Trading is a prerequisite to bringing residential proceedings in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal.  However, it is not required if you choose to commence proceedings in the Local or District Courts in respect of your building dispute.

The NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal has similar powers to issue a Rectification Order.  Such an Order is binding on both parties.  However, unless both parties are agreeable to the Rectification Order being made, the Tribunal may prefer to make a monetary order for the payment of damages.

There are strict time frames that apply to home owners in making a claim for defective and/or incomplete works.  It is, therefore, important that you speak to an experienced Building & Construction Lawyer to obtain a proper assessment of your rights as soon as an issue arises.

If you require advice or would like to know more, please contact one of our experienced Building & Construction Lawyers for a confidential, no obligation chat.


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When can I claim the costs of getting another builder to finish the job or rectify defects?

Almost always, a builder must be a given a reasonable opportunity to complete their own work or to rectify any defects within their works, before any further steps can be taken by an owner to have the work done by others.

Most standard form building contracts used within the building industry contain specific steps which must be followed by both owners and builders if an owner is unhappy with a builder’s work.

Failing to follow these steps can put owners in breach of the contract and unable to claim the costs of repairs, or even worse, liable to pay the builder financial compensation for the breach.

Section 18B of the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) implies certain warranties into every residential building contract. Amongst those, are warranties that a builder will perform work with due care and skill and in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract, and also that the work will be done with due diligence and within the time stipulated in the contract, or if no time is stipulated, within a reasonable time.

Section 18BA Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) then provides, in turn, certain obligations on the builder’s client. One such important obligation is, that in the case of a builder breaching warranties as to workmanship or timeliness, that the client may not unreasonably refuse the builder access needed to rectify that breach.

The question of what is unreasonable will depend on all of the circumstances of the particular case, and where an owner hires another builder, and the dispute comes before a Court or Tribunal, it will be for the owner to prove that the builder was given every reasonable opportunity to complete the works and rectify any defects, and that they were unwilling to do so.

There are however, some circumstances in which you may get another builder to complete or rectify work. One such circumstance is where the builder is given the opportunity to rectify defects or complete works in accordance with the contract, but the builder continues to refuse to repair or complete. Another such circumstance is where the relationship between the owner and builder is in such a deteriorated state that it is unworkable or, that because of a builder’s past performance on site, there is a complete lack of confidence by an owner in the builder’s ability.

Owners should be extremely cautious before deciding to get one builder to finish another’s incomplete or defective work, as even if you are successful in your claim against the original builder, the damages awarded may well be inadequate to cover the cost of the subsequent builder.

If you’re considering getting a new builder to complete work or rectify defects of an earlier builder, it is better to be safe and to first seek the advice of an experienced construction specialist lawyer to assess the merits of your individual situation.


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What are the Statutory Warranties implied under the Home Building Act?

By virtue of Section 18B of the Home Building Act, the following warranties are implied in every contract to do residential building work:

  • A warranty that the work will be done with due care and skill and in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract,
  • A warranty that all materials supplied by the holder or person will be good and suitable for the purpose for which they are used and that, unless otherwise stated in the contract, those materials will be new,
  • A warranty that the work will be done in accordance with, and will comply with, the Home Building Act or any other law,
  • A warranty that the work will be done with due diligence and within the time stipulated in the contract, or if no time is stipulated, within a reasonable time,
  • A warranty that, if the work consists of the construction of a dwelling, the making of alterations or additions to a dwelling or the repairing, renovation, decoration or protective treatment of a dwelling, the work will result, to the extent of the work conducted, in a dwelling that is reasonably fit for occupation as a dwelling, and
  • A warranty that the work and any materials used in doing the work will be reasonably fit for the specified purpose or result, if the person for whom the work is done expressly makes known to the holder of the contractor licence or person required to hold a contractor licence, or another person with express or apparent authority to enter into or vary contractual arrangements on behalf of the holder or person, the particular purpose for which the work is required or the result that the owner desires the work to achieve, so as to show that the owner relies on the holder’s or person’s skill and judgment.

Such warranties are also implied in a contract under which a principal contractor enters into a contract with a subcontractor in connection with the carrying out of residential building work.


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What are the limitation periods for bringing a claim for breach of Statutory Warranty?

By virtue of Section 18E of the Home Building Act, proceedings for a breach of a Statutory Warranty must be commenced before the end of:

  • 6 years for a breach that results in a major defect in residential building work, or
  • 2 years in any other case.

major defect” is defined to mean:

(a)a defect in a major element of a building that is attributable to defective design, defective or faulty workmanship, defective materials, or a failure to comply with the structural performance requirements of the National Construction Code (or any combination of these), and that causes, or is likely to cause:

(i) the inability to inhabit or use the building (or part of the building) for its intended purpose, or

(ii) the destruction of the building or any part of the building, or

(iii) a threat of collapse of the building or any part of the building, or

(b) a defect of a kind that is prescribed by the Regulations as a major defect.

major element” of a building is defined to mean:

(a) an internal or external load-bearing component of a building that is essential to the stability of the building, or any part of it (including but not limited to foundations and footings, floors, walls, roofs, columns and beams), or

(b) a fire safety system, or

(c) waterproofing, or

(d) any other element that is prescribed by the Regulations as a major element of a building.

Statutory Warranty Period

The warranty period starts on completion of the work to which it relates or, if the work is not completed, on:

  • The date the contract is terminated, or
  • If the contract is not terminated, the date on which work under the contract ceased, or
  • If the contract is not terminated and work under the contract was not commenced, the date of the contract.

The completion of residential building work under the Home Building Act will occur on the date that the work is complete within the meaning of the contract under which the work was done (although there is a specific provision contained in the Act relevant to determining the date of completion of new buildings in strata schemes).

If the contract does not provide for when work is complete (or if there is no written contract), the completion of residential building work occurs on “practical completion“ of the work, namely, when the work is completed except for any omissions or defects that do not prevent the work from being reasonably capable of being used for its intended purpose.  In this case, it will be presumed, unless an earlier date for practical completion can be established, that practical completion of residential building work occurred on the earliest of whichever of the following dates can be established for the work:

  • The date on which the contractor handed over possession of the work to the home owner,
  • The date on which the contractor last attended the site to carry out work (other than work to remedy any defect that does not affect practical completion),
  • The date of issue of an Occupation Certificate under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that authorises commencement of the use or occupation of the work, or
  • In the case of owner-builder work, the date that is 18 months after the issue of the Owner-Builder Permit for the work.

If the residential building work comprises the construction of 2 or more buildings, each of which is reasonably capable of being used and occupied separatelypractical completion of the individual buildings can occur at different times (so that practical completion of any one building does not require practical completion of all the buildings).

Extending Limitation Periods

There are two (2) situations in which the time for the commencement of proceedings for a breach of a statutory warranty may be extended, namely, where:

  • Any person entitled to the benefit of a warranty first becomes aware (or ought reasonably have first become aware) of the breach, within the last 6 months of the applicable warranty period, in which case proceedings may be commenced within a further 6 months after the end of the applicable warranty period, and
  • A building bond has been lodged for building work under Part 11 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW), in which case the period of 2 years specified for commencing proceedings for a breach of a statutory warranty for that work is extended until the end of 90 days after the end of the period within which a final inspection report on the building work under that Part is required.

Significantly, the fact that a person entitled to the benefit of a statutory warranty has enforced the warranty in relation to a particular deficiency in the work will not necessarily prevent the person from enforcing the same warranty for a deficiency of a different kind in the work if:

  • The subsequent claim is brought within the relevant limitation period, and
  • The other deficiency was in existence when the work to which the warranty relates was completed but the person did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, of the existence of the other deficiency when the earlier warranty was enforced.

Subsequent Owners

A successor in title to a person entitled to the benefit of a statutory warranty under the Home Building Act has the same rights as the person’s predecessor in title in respect of a statutory warranty, as does a person or entity who is the owner of the land but is not actually a party to a contract to do residential building work on the land.


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A builder made promises to me during negotiations that aren’t in the Contract, what can I do?

It is not uncommon for a builder to make representations to a home owner in the course of negotiations for a Residential Building Contract where the subject matter of the representation is something that isn’t expressly covered in the final contract. However, where the home owner relies on a representation made, such that they otherwise would not have entered into the contract or would have done something differently, then problems can arise if the representation turns out to be false or misleading and the builder is not willing to stand by it.

Common examples of these types of representations include:

  • Representations in relation to times for obtaining building approvals or the carrying out building works,
  • Estimates in relation to the cost of works or variations, particularly where the contract is a Cost Plus Contract or Do-and-Charge Contract, and
  • Representations in relation to the skill or experience of the builder.

Home owners can find themselves facing significant costs as a result of delays, inaccurate estimates or discrepancies in the nature or manner of the work performed in these situations.

Where this occurs, home owners may have a right to compensation or other remedies under The Australian Consumer Law.  Section 18 of The Australian Consumer Law provides that a person (or company) shall not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.  It makes no difference whether the misleading or deceptive conduct was intentional or not.

A representation in relation to a future matter, for example an estimate of costs, will be taken to be misleading if the person making the representation did not have reasonable grounds for making it.

If a home owner suffers loss or damage as a result of misleading or deceptive conduct (whether intentional or not) on the part of a builder they will have a prima facie claim for damages under Section 18 of The Australian Consumer Law.

However, damages (or any other remedy) will only be available if the misleading or deceptive conduct is the cause of the home owner suffering loss or damage.  The question of causation here turns on the evaluation of whether or not the home owner acted in reliance upon any misleading or deceptive representation (or conduct) made by the builder and, if so, whether it was reasonable for the home owner to rely upon the particular representation.

In the context of residential building disputes, reliance will typically be in the form of the home owner proceeding to enter into a building contract with the builder.

Even if the residential building contract includes provisions to the effect that the terms of the contract constitute the entire or whole agreement between the parties or that the home owners have not relied upon any representation made by the builder when entering into the contract, a home owner may still have a claim against the builder for misleading and deceptive conduct if their reliance was reasonable nevertheless.

The loss or the damage that a home owner may suffer as a result of misleading or deceptive conduct will depend on the particular circumstances.  For example:

  • An owner who relied upon a representation in relation to an estimated cost of works when entering into a contract may be entitled to recover the difference between the amount paid to the builder and the amount that the home owner could have negotiated with another builder for the work to be performed under a lump sum price contract.
  • A home owner who relied on a representation in relation to the period of time for completion of the works, and thereby failed to include any express term relating to the period in which the work was to be completed, may be entitled to recover damages associated with additional rent or holding costs in connection with the delays.
  • A home owner who relied upon a representation relating to the nature or manner of work that was to be performed (or work that was to be the subject of a variation) may be entitled to recover costs of having the work redone or rectified so that it corresponds to the manner represented by the builder (for example if the contract or variation did not sufficiently describe the work or corresponding specifications).

If you feel that you may have a claim against a builder for misleading and deceptive conduct you have a general duty to mitigate your loss.

Speak to one of our Building & Construction Lawyers today to discuss your claim, the loss or damage potentially recoverable and what you should be doing to mitigate loss.


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Do all residential building disputes have to be determined by the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”)?

Generally, a builder or home owner may commence proceedings in relation to a residential building dispute in

  • a Court of competent jurisdiction (subject to relevant limitation periods), or
  • in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”) provided that:
    • The amount claimed does not exceed $500,000.00 (Section 48K(1)), and
    • Proceedings are commenced within three (3) years of the related supply of building goods or services (Section 48K(3)).

Notwithstanding, it is apparent from the Home Building Act that NCAT is to be chiefly responsible for resolving building claims in NSW.  Significantly, Section 48L(2) of the Home Building Act provides that if a Defendant in any Court proceedings in respect of a building claim makes an application for the proceedings to be transferred to NCAT, the proceedings must be transferred and will thereafter continue before NCAT as if they had been commenced there.

Whilst case management by Judges and Magistrates may be preferable to case management by NCAT Members, unless the parties agree for the proceedings to be determined by a Court (and not a Tribunal) or no Defense to a claim is anticipated, then it is usually the case that proceedings for claims under $500,000.00 should be commenced in NCAT or will ultimately end up being determined by NCAT.

There remains, however, some strategic benefits of commencing proceedings before a Court even if the claim will be disputed.  For example, Court proceedings will permit the early issue of Subpoenas and the accessing of documents from third parties under Subpoena.

Parties who commence their own proceedings will typically miss this opportunity and, in any case, will invariably set themselves up for delays and additional costs associated with the subsequent need to properly plead and particularise their Points of Claim in order for the proceedings to efficiently proceed.

Ultimately, before commencing any proceedings before a Court or NCAT in relation to a building claim it is strongly recommended that you speak to a Building & Construction Lawyer.

If you are involved in a residential building dispute, use the link above to request a Free Case Evaluation by one of our Building & Construction Lawyers.


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When can I claim under a Policy of Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund?

Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund is required to be obtained by a builder entering into a residential building contract of greater than $20,000 (including GST) with a home owner prior to commencing any work under that contract.

Insurance policies under the Home Building Compensation Fund provide a set period of cover for loss caused by defective or incomplete works.

Cover for loss arising from defective work is provided for:

  • Six (6) years from the date of completion of the works for loss arising from a major defect in residential building work, and
  • Two (2) years for any other loss.

A home owner can only claim on a policy of insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund in the event of the death or insolvency of the builder or where the home owner can establish that the builder has disappeared.  There are a number of grounds that a home owner must establish to prove the disappearance of a builder.

If the builder is still trading and able to be located, a home owner cannot claim under the policy of insurance.  It must bring a claim directly against the builder.

To make a claim under a policy of insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund a home owner must notify the insurer. Once a claim is lodged, and accepted, the insurer not only takes the place of the builder in the claim, they can also rely upon the insurance policy taken out between the builder and the insurer.

Most insurance policies will have strict notification provisions regarding defects, these generally include notifying the insurer within 12 months for incomplete works, two (2) years for minor defects and six (6) years for major defects.  It is vital that you check and comply with the policy for a claim to be successfully made.

We suggest you seek legal advice before lodging any insurance claim under the Home Building Compensation Fund to ensure that all evidence and relevant details are provided to the insurer to maximise any payout of your claim.

Disclaimer


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Call now to speak to an experienced Home Building Lawyer

1300 553 343

The foundation of any quick and cost-effective resolution of a building dispute, is an experienced Home Building Dispute Lawyer.

Our Residential Building Lawyers include an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation and a Solicitor with 20 years’ experience working in the building and construction industry and who had regularly prepared Building Defects Reports and given Expert Evidence in relation to building defects before coming to the law.

Need an Answer Fast?

With most home building disputes it is important to seek advice from an experienced Building & Construction Lawyer as soon as it becomes apparent that a residential building dispute has arisen. For new home owners, this usually means before you take possession of your new home.

How We Help

Our expert Home Building Lawyers will ensure you make contracts you understand, avoid foreseeable problems and resolve disputes cost effectively.

We help Builders, Contractors and Home Owners:

  • negotiate and make effective Contracts for Residential Building Works,
  • understand and evaluate their rights and options in the event of a dispute,
  • resolve disputes by negotiation, and
  • pursue or defend their rights in proceedings before a Court or Tribunal.

Often strict time stipulations are contained in building contracts or apply where the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act applies to the work.

Call now to speak to an experienced Home Building Lawyer

1300 553 343

Home Building Law
13/02/2018 by Sam Roberts

Do all residential building disputes have to be determined by the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”)?

Generally, a builder or home owner may commence proceedings in relation to a residential building dispute in a Court of competent jurisdiction (subject to relevant limitation periods), or in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”) provided that: The amount claimed does not exceed $500,000.00 (Section 48K(1)), and Proceedings are commenced within three (3) years […]

Home Building Law
24/01/2018 by Matthew Bryan

What are the Statutory Warranties implied under the Home Building Act?

By virtue of Section 18B of the Home Building Act, the following warranties are implied in every contract to do residential building work: A warranty that the work will be done with due care and skill and in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract, A warranty that all materials supplied […]

Home Building Law
24/01/2018 by Matthew Bryan

When does the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act apply to the Residential Building work?

Section 7(2)(b) of the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (‘SOP Act‘)  states that the Act will not apply to a construction contract for the carrying out of residential building work “on such part of any premises as the party for whom the work is carried out resides in or proposes to reside in”. Generally therefore, the […]

Home Building Law
24/01/2018 by Ned Mortensen

When can I suspend work?

If you are a builder carrying out residential building work, there may be situations when you would like to suspend the building works.  Commonly this occurs when a home owner fails or refuses to pay a Progress Claim.  This can cause problems for a builder who, naturally, may be reluctant to continue carrying our the […]

Home Building Law
24/01/2018 by Ned Mortensen

What should I do if the home owners are disputing a Progress Claim?

As a residential builder, obtaining payment from home owners can sometimes be a source of concern.  Of, course, prompt payments can be assisted by issuing Progress Claims when you are entitled to do so and having good communication withe home owners and processes in place to ensure Progress Claims are paid on time.  Needless to […]

Home Building Law
23/01/2018 by Amanda Crosbie

My house is incomplete and the builder is delaying, what can I do?

If works to your home remain incomplete after the period that the contract stipulates works ought to be complete, then it is likely that the builder is in breach of the contract. Most contracts will require that a home owner give the builder a notice particularising the breach and provide that the builder has a […]

Home Building Law
21/01/2018 by Ned Mortensen

How to resolve disputes about residential building contracts.

Disputes as to the timeliness, quality, value and compliance of works in residential building contracts are all too frequent. Commonly, relatively simple disputes get out of hand quickly as emotions run high and parties seek to “hit the other where it hurts”. Home owners refuse to pay and builders refuse to build. If you’re a […]

Building & Construction Law
6/06/2017 by Amanda Crosbie

Common Misconceptions about Contracting in the Building & Construction Industry and what to do to avoid getting caught out.

When I ask clients whether a written contract was in place or whether variations had been documented, too often I receive the following response “no there was no contract, we just agreed to it” or “I didn’t think it was necessary it was a small job“. Firstly, it is an incorrect assumption that just because […]

Building & Construction Law
12/07/2016 by Amanda Crosbie

Consequences of failing to comply with the Home Building Act.

The Home Building Act 1989 (“the Act“) places obligations upon contractors who contract directly with home owners to undertake residential building work. We have summarised these obligations in further articles contained on our website. See Introduction – Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act. Consequences of contravening the Act Pursuant to Section 10 of the […]

Building & Construction Law
21/01/2016 by Sam Roberts

Introduction: Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act

Among other things, the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) (“the Act“) regulates the contracting requirements for any person making a contract to undertake ‘residential building work‘. Importantly, these requirements apply equally to any contract variations. The contracting requirements set out below apply to contracts entered into on or after 1 March 2015. Consequences of Non-Compliance […]

Building & Construction Law
8/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Requirements Applicable to All Residential Building Contracts

The following contracting requirements apply to all contracts for residential building work under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) (subject to applicable exemptions). Deposit The maximum amount of a deposit that may be demanded or lawfully received for residential building work is 10% of the contract price (Section 8). Statutory Warranties The following warranties are […]

Building & Construction Law
8/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Residential Building Contracts where the Price Exceeds $20,000.00 (incl. GST)

The following contracting requirements apply to contracts to do “residential building work“where the contract price or (if the contract price is not known) the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved exceeds $20,000.00 (inclusive of GST) by virtue of the Home Building Act 1989(NSW). Consumer Building Guide Before entering into a contract the […]

Building & Construction Law
10/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Residential Building Contracts where the Price Exceeds $5,000.00 but not $20,000.00

The following contracting requirements apply to contracts to do “residential building work” where the contract price or (if the contract price is not known) the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved exceeds $5,000.00 (inclusive of GST) but not $20,000.00 (inclusive of GST) by virtue of the Home Building Act 1989(NSW). Contracting Requirements […]

Building & Construction Law
10/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Residential Building Contracts for Works less than $5,000.00

There is no prescribed contracting requirements where the contract price or the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved is less than $5,000.00 (inclusive of GST). However, it should be noted that: The maximum deposit that may be claimed remains 10% (Section 8). The statutory warranties will still be implied into the contract […]

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Success Stories

Quick Cheap Resolution of Residential Building Dispute.

The clients were home owners and were having extreme difficulty getting their builder to complete the residential building works so they could obtain an Occupation Certificate and move back into their home which was being renovated. After a strong concise Letter of Demand from our office, and confirmation that our clients would not provide any […]

Failure to document Contract Variations lead to suspension and termination dispute. Unlicenced builder defeats $370,000.00 damages claim for cost to complete. Judgement for builder with indemnity costs.

The client was a residential builder who had contracted to build a large residential premises for approximately $695,000. Shortly after the the works commenced the owner instructed the builder to perform a number of significant variation that meant that the cost of the works would increase by approximately $280,000.00.

First home buyers gets the better of builder involved in house and land package promotion. Misrepresentations and hand amendment to building contract lead to substantial cost saving.

The clients were looking at new house and land packages with the view to purchase for their own residence. They met with a selling agent for a project home builder who showed them a site within a new subdivision and provided a promotional brochure showing a split level home that they were told could be built on the site for a cost of $230,000.00. The vacant land was for sale by the project home builder for $160,000.00.

View all success stories

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