Often clients come to see us as they are unsatisfied with building work on their domestic property.
They may have engaged a builder to construct, renovate or improve their property and the client may be of the belief that the work is of a poor standard in terms of workmanship and quality of materials.
There is hope for these clients to have the building works either rectified by the builder or to receive compensation for the cost of repairing the building works themselves.
The Building Work Contractor's Act("the Act") protects building owners in this scenario.
Section 32 of the Act provides for certain statutory warranties in relation to every domestic building work contract. The warranties include that:
- The building work will be performed in a proper manner to accepted trade standards and in accordance with the plans and specifications agreed to by the parties;
All materials to be supplied for use in the building work will be good and proper;
- If the contract for services does not stipulate a period within which the building work must be completed, a warranty that the building work will be performed with reasonable diligence;
If the building work consists of the construction of a house - a warranty that the house will be reasonably fit for human habitation; and
- If the building owner has expressly made known to the contractor the purpose for which the building work is required or the result that the building owner desires the building work to achieve so as to show that the building owner relies on the contractor's skill and judgement - a warranty that the building work and any materials used in performing the building work will be reasonably fit for that purpose or of such a nature and quality that they might reasonably be expected to achieve that result.
In South Australia, the statutory warranty period for defective work extends to five years following the completion of the building work.
If a claim is lodged with the Court for a breach of a statutory warranty, the Court has the power to order:
- The performance of remedial work by the builder; or
- Require the payment by the builder of an amount due under the contract or the payment of an amount by way of compensation.
If you believe building work that has been performed on your property is defective or not to trade standard we recommend that you speak with us about how we can help you ensure that the building work is completed to a standard that you expected, that you paid for and that you are happy with.