New building laws coming into effect on 1 January 2015 will
require all builders carrying out residential building work valued
over $30,000 to have written contracts and disclose their skills,
qualifications and licensing status, together with their dispute
history. Failure to comply may result in fines. If you are a
builder then this will significantly increase your compliance
The aim of this new legislation is to improve the quality of
building work, with a focus on professionalism and open disclosure.
Builders will need to ensure consumers have a clear expectation of
what work is to be done, at what price and in what timeframe.
The contract between the builder and consumer must include
specific clauses around the process for varying the contract, the
payment process, dispute resolution and remedies. Consumers will
also be supplied with a checklist which must include an explanation
of the legal obligations of both the consumer and the builder, an
outline of the risks associated with payment in advance for
completion of the work, together with advice on engaging the
builder and managing the project. These new initiatives aim to
increase the protection of consumers and reduce disputes going
Part of the reason for these "consumer protection"
measures is to move away from what is seen as a current reliance on
building consent authorities for building quality. Builders are
being encouraged to take ownership and responsibility for the
quality of the services they provide.
The detail relating to the above measures will be set out in
regulations which have not yet been finalised. If you would like us
to make a submission on your behalf then please contact us.
We will provide a further update once the regulations are
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Be aware that most modern subdivisions now include land covenants which are registered against the titles.
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