Changes to QBCC legislation were announced recently that will impact the building and construction industry. Examples of these changes:
Statutory Home Warranty Insurance Scheme
Building disputes (commencing 10 October 2014)
Defective work after practical completion
Structural defects (replaces Category type 1 defects) – e.g. leaking roof, leaking shower, health and safety issue – 6 years + 3 months from practical completion
Non-structural defects (replaces Category 2 defects) – e.g. sticking doors or windows, minor cracking of plasterboard – 12 months from when the work was completed (formerly 7 months)
Structural and non-structural there is an additional 12 months to lodge a notice about the defect with the QBCC, providing the consumer has advised the contractor in writing.
Defective work before practical completion
Residential work: Lodge a request for an Early Dispute Resolution (EDR) service.
Commercial work: EDR is not applicable.
Both building contractor and the home owner can request an EDR.
EDR deals with both defective work and non-payment issues.
If either party is unhappy with the decision of the EDR they have 28 days to lodge an Internal Review request or 28 days to apply to QCAT for an independent external review. The parties can only review an EDR decision if the matter in dispute is defined as reviewable domestic work.
All residential building disputes must be dealt with by the QBCC in the first instance. A person cannot proceed to QCAT unless they have first complied with the QBCC’s dispute resolution process.
The QCAT does not prevent the Commission from acting in relation to the dispute. For example, the Commission may continue to process a statutory insurance claim even though the matter is before QCAT.
An owner or occupier adjacent to a building site may request assistance from the Commission in regards to consequential damage to the property.
Financial reporting (commencing 10 October 2014)
Statutory Home Warranty Insurance Scheme (commencing 1 July 2015)
Prefabricated homes are now fully insurable:
If the contract is for both supplying and installing a prefabricated dwelling the statutory insurance premium paid by a contractor must cover the total contract price of all the works, which includes the off-site works and on-site works.
If the owner supplies the home the insurance premium is only payable on the work performed on-site by the contractor.
A consumer may obtain additional cover for residential construction work by the earlier of the following:
30 business days after the date the consumer signed the contract;
The day the construction started.
A contractor building a ‘spec’ may also buy additional insurance but prior to commencing the works.
If the value of any single variation or multiple variations increases the contract price by more than $5,000 an additional insurance premium must paid to the Commission before any work relating to the variation starts. This requirement also applies to speculative residential construction work and where the owner has obtained optional addition insurance coverage.
The erection, construction or installation of a swimming pool is fully insurable.