Australia: Residential Focus - 21 June 2017 - Part 2

Last Updated: 27 June 2017
Article by Christine Jones and Cameron Sheather
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

Building industry peak body welcomes new Chair
Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF), the peak consultative body for the Australian building and construction industry, has welcomed a new Chair , Norman Faifer, at its recent Annual General Meeting (15 June 2017). More...

Grenfell Tower disaster: Australia will have blood on its hands if it doesn't act
A similar disaster to the devastating fire at London's Grenfell Tower could strike Australia, an expert has warned, calling for the ban of aluminium composite material cladding (15 June 2017). More...

Building industry peak body welcomes new Chair
Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF), the peak consultative body for the Australian building and construction industry, has welcomed a new Chair , Norman Faifer, at its recent Annual General Meeting (15 June 2017). More...

MBA: London apartment tower fire, Are there issues for Australia?
Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said the relevant laws we have in Australia are comprehensive and under almost continuous review. Master Builders and members understand the importance of ensuring building products are fit for purpose and installed correctly, but there is always a risk that some products entering Australia don't meet minimum requirements (15 June 2017). More...

MBA: Volatility ahead as April housing finance wipes growth
The latest Housing Finance data for April 2017 released by the ABS continues to show volatility, recording a fall in the value of dwelling commitments of 1.6 per cent. Nevertheless, finance commitments for the construction of new dwellings was a standout, rising by 2.1 per cent in the month despite a fall in the number of purchases of new, established and owner occupied housing (09 June 2017). More...

Battery storage standard could threaten growing market
New draft standards for installing home battery systems could stifle the home energy storage market. Industry experts say it limits battery installations to external locations or non-habitable storage rooms, and it includes "onerous" fire safety requirements (13 June 2017). More...

Affordability increases, first home buyers out in the cold
Housing affordability improved across all states and territories in the first quarter of 2017, however, the number of both first home buyers and loans decreased, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) (09 June 2017). More...

Builder insolvencies and holes in the ground
The Australian high-rise apartment boom is winding down and there are signs that some contractors are winding up (08 June 2017). More...

NSW

2,500 NSW Buildings at risk of London-style fire
It's feared up to 2,500 buildings in NSW have highly flammable cladding installed similar to that being blamed for London's devastating tower block fire (15 June 2017). More...

City of Sydney reveals ambitious overhaul of WestConnex
The City of Sydney is calling on the NSW state government to rethink its planning for the contentious WestConnex project, putting forward an alternative proposal it believes will do more to reduce congestion while costing taxpayers and motorists less (05 June 2017). More...

NSW must reinstate integrity of Qualifications linked to Building Licences
A media release was sent out earlier this year by the NSW opposition Shadow Minister for Skills, Prue Car MP, highlighting the risks to potential students seeking to enrol in vocational education and training courses in NSW (08 June 2017). More...

Published

Housing prices, household debt and household consumption
Kadir Atalay, Stephen Whelan, Judith Yates; Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute: 08 June 2017 This research investigated the relationship between increasing housing prices (or housing wealth) and the increased consumption expenditure of households from before the GFC and afterwards. More...

Practice and courts

ABCB launches new WaterMark Product Database
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has launched a new online WaterMark Product Database, making it simpler for plumbers to check if their plumbing and drainage materials and products are WaterMark certified. If unsure of whether a plumbing product or material is certified, search the WaterMark Product Database (06 June 2017). More...

ABCB Note: An improved version of the WaterMark Certification Scheme was launched on 1 July 2016 and will be progressively implemented from 1 July 2017. For more details about the improved scheme please refer to the Improved WaterMark Scheme.

NSW

NSW BPB: View the May/June 2017 e-news online: this issue continues the theme of certifiers as public officials. It also looks at certifier independence from builders, avoiding conflicts of interest, and best-practice communication to manage risk (07 June 2017).

New BASIX energy targets
On 1 July, new Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) energy targets will come into effect, as part of the government's initiative to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. For more detailed information, view the frequently asked questions. To find out more about BASIX or apply for a BASIX certificate, visit the BASIX website.

Cases

C G Constructions Pty Limited v Hanson Constructions Materials Pty Limited [2017]
NSWCATAP 130
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Civil and Administrative Tribunal – internal appeal – question of law – failure to address case advanced at first instance – error of law – constructive failure to exercise jurisdiction – no finding on material question of fact – remittal of proceedings.

Barwick v Shetab [2017] NSWCATAP 127
Appeal – Whether work residential building work – assessment of damages.

The Owners Strata Plan No 66375 v Suncorp Metway Insurance Ltd (No 2) [2017] NSWSC 739
AGENCY – whether party entered into contract as agent – whether party acting as undisclosed principal. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) – statutory warranties – whether owners corporation entitled to statutory warranties – whether loss and damage claimed in respect of defects resulted from breaches of statutory warranties. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW)– whether defendants were "developers" within the meaning of s 3A – whether defendants were persons "on whose behalf" building work was done. CONTRACTS – building and construction contract – construction and interpretation – whether the defendants were party to the building contract. EVIDENCE – Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) s 69 – admissibility of evidence – business records – whether minutes of meeting are business records. EQUITY – remedies – rectification.

Home Site Pty Limited v ACN 124 452 786 Pty Limited (formerly known as Nahas Construction (NSW) Pty Limited) [2017] NSWSC 698
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – contract –extension of time clause – whether terms of contract relating to extension of time were modified by deed of amendment – whether defendant entitled to extension of time under contract – whether plaintiff entitled to liquidated damages under contract. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – contract – liability for defective works – whether contract specification required rectification of defects – whether rectification of defects unreasonable. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) s 10 – whether Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) s 10 applies. CONTRACT – building and construction contract – unenforceable – quantum meruit claim – whether plaintiff entitled to recover fair and just compensation for work completed in accordance with contractual specifications – whether costs incurred for work were reasonable – whether deductions should be applied to quantum meruit claim. CONTRACT – consideration – promise to perform existing duty – whether bona fides compromise of a disputed claim made. CONTRACT – construction and interpretation – "practical completion" – when did "practical completion" occur. CONTRACT – construction and interpretation – whether contract can be inferred from parties' conduct – whether words and conduct of parties would lead a reasonable person in the position of the other party to believe there was a contract. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) r 14.14 – whether point should have been pleaded – whether point likely to take defendant by surprise.

Home Site Pty Limited v ACN 124 452 786 Pty Limited (formerly known as Nahas Construction (NSW) Pty Limited) [2017] NSWSC 698
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – contract –extension of time clause – whether terms of contract relating to extension of time were modified by deed of amendment – whether defendant entitled to extension of time under contract – whether plaintiff entitled to liquidated damages under contract. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – contract – liability for defective works – whether contract specification required rectification of defects – whether rectification of defects unreasonable. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) s 10 – whether Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) s 10 applies. CONTRACT – building and construction contract – unenforceable – quantum meruit claim – whether plaintiff entitled to recover fair and just compensation for work completed in accordance with contractual specifications – whether costs incurred for work were reasonable – whether deductions should be applied to quantum meruit claim. CONTRACT – consideration – promise to perform existing duty – whether bona fides compromise of a disputed claim made. CONTRACT – construction and interpretation – "practical completion" – when did "practical completion" occur. CONTRACT – construction and interpretation – whether contract can be inferred from parties' conduct – whether words and conduct of parties would lead a reasonable person in the position of the other party to believe there was a contract. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) r 14.14 – whether point should have been pleaded – whether point likely to take defendant by surprise.

Ward v Makhlouf & Anor [2017] NSWCATCD 30
Costs, Calderbank Offers, Indemnity costs.

Sakkara Investment Holding Pty Ltd atf Sakkara Landings Trust v Residents Committee The Landings [2017] NSWCATCD 29

Channell v Graham [2017] NSWCATAP 129
COSTS – Rules 38 and 38A - Reg 20(4) – withdrawal of appeal.

Legislation

NSW

Environmental Planning Instruments

State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) Amendment (Housing Code) 2017
(2017-269) — published LW 16 June 2017.

State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) Amendment (Miscellaneous and Affordable Housing) 2017
(2017-270) — published LW 16 June 2017.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Mine Subsidence Compensation (Mine Subsidence Districts) Proclamation 2017
(2017-260) — published Gazette No 61 of 9 June 2017, page 2397.

Ports and Maritime Administration Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2017 (2017-245) — published LW 9 June 2017.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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