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A broom through the laws relating to Home Builders and Owners

Construction Law News | June 2014

Forum Law’s Annette Fontana contributed submissions to the government, on behalf of the Law Society of NSW which have been incorporated into the changes.

On 28 May 2014 revisions to the Home Building Act were passed and will come into effect later in 2014 once the Regulations have been finalised.

The key changes include:

  • There are stricter qualifications for builders to obtain a Licence for Home Building where the builder has had a history of being involved in companies or businesses which have failed, or where there has been a history of complaints, cautions and penalties. This reform is aimed at “cleaning up” illegal phoenix activity by unscrupulous builders. There is now an obligation on builders to notify the Department of Fair Trading in respect of insolvency issues. Serious penalties apply if there is non-compliance with these new provisions.
  • The statutory period within which minor defects can be notified is 2 years and 6 years for major structural defects with the proviso that serious fire safety system and waterproofing be covered by extended 6 year warranties. The Act contain detailed definitions of “minor” and “structural” defects.
  • The existing cap on deposits for home building has been lifted from 5% to 10% for work over $20,000 to improve cashflow for builders.
  • There is more detail in the definitions relating to certain provisions to help reduce complaints and disputes between owners and builders.
If you have any enquiries or concerns about home building law as a builder or as an owner or consumer, give Forum Law a call, as we are one of the few lawyers in the inner west of Sydney with the experience to help you with your home building and other building, property and commercial law matters.

Forum Law is an active member of several reputable law and industry associations. We have recently obtained ISO9001 accreditation.