Lawyers Qld Specialise in Defective Building Work Claims & Disputes –
We can help you deal with QBCC, QCAT or the Courts in Defective Building Work matters.
QBCC Define Defective Building Work as building work that is faulty or unsatisfactory, and includes, for example:
- building work that does not comply with the Building Act 1975, Building Code of Australia or an applicable Australian Standard.
- building work that involves the use of a manufactured product, and that product has been used, constructed or installed in a way that does not comply with the product manufacturer’s instructions.
The two most effective ways to have defective building work fixed or receive compensation for the cost to fix the defective building work are (1) involve the QBCC and ask them to Direct the Contractor to rectify the defective building work or (2) sue in QCAT or the Courts.
Involving the QBCC
We can help you deal with the QBCC to make a complaint about defective building work. For example (If there are large amounts of money involved in rectifying the defective building work) we can obtain expert reports on why the work is defective and what rectification works are necessary and then draft the complaint on your behalf. If the QBCC Early Dispute Resolution process is started we can attend the mediation with you and ensure that your legal rights are protected. In the event that QBCC decides not to direct the contractor to rectify the work we can help you with the process of having that QBCC decision reviewed.
The QBCC has a Rectification of Building Work Policy which sets out how QBCC will handle complaints from consumers about defective building work. Importantly there are strict time frames for notifying the QBCC about defective work. The Policy reads as follows:
- It is a policy of the Board that if a consumer is seeking the assistance of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to issue a direction to a building contractor to rectify defective building work, the consumer must lodge a formal complaint with the QBCC of defective building work as soon as possible but no later than within 12 months of becoming aware of the defects.
- The QBCC will then consider the issuing of direction to rectify to a building contractor: a. for structural defective building work, within 6 years and 3 months of the building work being completed; or b. for non-structural defective building work, within 12 months of the building work being completed.
Section 72 of the QBCC Act empowers the QBCC to direct a contractor, whether licensed or unlicensed, to rectify building work that is either defective or incomplete or to remedy consequential damage caused by or as a consequence of the carrying out of building work. Such a direction is commonly referred to as a direction to rectify (DTR). If an unlicensed contractor is issued with a DTR, they must arrange to have the work required under the DTR carried out by a licensed contractor.
When investigating complaints and undertaking audits of building work, the QBCC’s building inspectors, in assessing whether or not they should exercise their discretion to issue a DTR to a contractor, will consider the following elements: (1) was the work building work? (2) was the work defective or incomplete? (3) who was responsible for the defective building work? (4) would a decision to direct the contractor be unfair in the circumstances.
In June 2019 QBCC published an informative Regulatory Guide on the Rectification of Building Work.
Going to QCAT or the Courts
QCAT requires that before you file an Application to commence a Building Dispute you are required to participate in the QBCC Dispute Resolution process. For more information see our Building Disputes page. We can help you with that process and prepare your QCAT Application for you. Once the Application is started in QCAT we can help you prepare your case by instructing Building Experts and preparing evidence and witness statements for you. We are very experienced in defective building work disputes and regularly appear for our clients in QCAT, NCAT and the Courts. We understand the procedures and customs and can support you through the process.