HOME OWNER BUILDING / RENOVATION / CONSTRUCTION
The NSW Home Building Act 1989 regulates contracts to do residential building work.
All contracts for work over $5,000 must be in writing. There are certain disclosures and terms which must be included in small job contracts up to $20,000, and further requirements for large contracts over $20,000.
Standard form contracts for home building and renovations are available from Fair Trading NSW, the Housing Institute of Australia (HIA) and Master Builders Association (MBA). All require the completion of Schedules which define the scope, price and time for completion of the work to be carried out.
Our construction lawyers assist homeowners to draft and to understand their contracts before they sign them.
Home building contracts usually require the homeowner to run the contract in lieu of requiring a professional to administer the contract from the outset.
The homeowner should act in a reasonable and timely manner when assessing contract claims for progress payments, variations, extensions of time, when adjusting prime costs and provisional sums and whether to accept a suspension of work, a notice of dispute or the achievement of practical completion.
Further, the homeowner needs to be alert to the time constraints to respond to a Payment Claim received under the NSW Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 1999,
Our construction lawyers assist homeowners as specific issues arise or upon a continuing basis during the build.
The cost, time and effort required to sue a builder should be avoided. Keeping a document trail is critical.
Home building and renovation contracts contain dispute resolution procedures. These should be fully engaged initially.
Fair Trading NSW provides a dispute resolution service which attempts to mediate an outcome suitable to everyone.
Unresolved disputes can be escalated to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or through the Local, District and Supreme Courts depending on the nature and value of the claims in dispute.
We assist homeowners to follow the dispute resolution procedures in their contract, to request the assistance of Fair Trading, and to bring or defend claims in NCAT or court.