Residential Building is governed by the Domestic Building Contracts Act, which includes provisions protecting both home owner and builder. Builders usually present to the home owner contracts prepared by the Housing Industry Association or the Master Builders Association. These are essentially fill in the blanks contracts for builders with the particulars of the agreement. Larger Building Contracts may be prepared in house by a legal firm or used under licence from Australian standards. Whatever the Contract, the terms and conditions of the contract, all the fine details, need to be properly understood. Consideration must also be given to any special conditions that should be incorporated by the builder or the home owner given the particular circumstances of every agreement.
The larger the build the more complex the contract usually becomes. It is essential that both parties properly understand the agreement, and that it is documented in the contract.
Despite the parties setting out with all good intentions things can go wrong. There may be problems with the build quality, which could be due to poor build quality or unrealistic expectations. The builder may have stopped building, or the home owner may be withholding payment. Whatever the problem is the stakes are often high. A stalemate in a building contract can cost both parties a lot of time and effort. Appropriate legal advice and representation is important to advance your position, whilst operating within the confines of the contract and the act.
VCAT is the jurisdiction for all domestic building contract disputes in Victoria. Dealing with matters at VCAT can be costly as well as taking a long time to reach a determination. Negotiating a resolution without VCAT is always encouraged.
If you are a builder operating in the Knox or surrounding Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne we can assist you with drafting special conditions in light of the circumstances of your proposed build. We can prepare customised contracts for larger builds prepared in house or used under licence from Australian Standards, or help you negotiate larger build contracts. We can also assist wherever disputes arise.
If you are a home owner looking to build in the Knox or surrounding Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne we can assist you in understanding the building contract, particularly any special conditions incorporated by the builder. It may also be necessary to incorporate special conditions into the contract in light of the circumstances of your proposed build.