COVID-19: Update for Builders and Owners

In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that all Builders and Owners/Developers are aware of their rights and obligations. With the potential for lock downs and supply of materials halted, the ability to ensure construction jobs are delivered on time will be impacted. Pre-existing contracts Most standard form Domestic Building Contracts will contain …


Building Permits – What are my responsibilities?

Why is it important to get a building permit? If you are planning to construct, renovate or demolish a home, then an application for a building permit is required from your local council or from a private building surveyor. As the home owner, it is your responsibility to make sure planning and building permits are …


HomeBuilder grant: Know your rights

The Federal Government has unveiled its HomeBuilder package, offering $25,000 to people to start a renovation or build a new home under the scheme. HomeBuilder is a time-limited grant program that provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.  Am …


Cost escalation caused by COVID-19 – How to manage your building project

The building and construction industry has been affected as a whole by the current disruptions and health concerns brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to review your current building contracts and consider what rights and obligations you may have in the event of unforeseeable delays which could lead to cost escalations. It is …


­­Building or Renovating your home – Which Contract to use?

When engaging with a builder to conduct building or renovation work on a property, it is easy to presume that building contracts only come in one form. This is often not the case and although there is a standardised form contract, there are additional kinds of building contracts and considerations. Standard Form Contract The most …


Off the Plan Contracts – Rights and Risks for Purchasers

An Off the Plan contract typically refers to transactions where a vendor (who acts as a developer) sells a house and land package, prior to construction commencement. Off the Plan contracts are mostly common in high rise developments. Buying house and land off the plan is a popular investment option for many people, due to …


Ending a Building Contract – Do’s and Don’ts

Whether it is a domestic or commercial building contract, terminating a building contract is a serious matter. An owner may wish to end a contract due to abandoned and incomplete work, due diligence not carried out and or the works being carried are dangerously substandard. Builders may seek to terminate on the ground of non-payment or refusal …


Securing Payment in the Building Industry: Using Adjudication during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (VIC) – or, as most people call it ‘Security of Payment Act’ (the Act), is a legislation that is intended to reduce the incidence of insolvency in the construction industry by promoting the flow of money to subcontractors. This Act can be a useful tool to secure …


Help! My building is moving

Foundation movement is a common cause of building distress and disputation. It is often not clear what the causes are or where the responsibility lies. The causes of foundation movement can be varied and present themselves in a number of ways. The most common factors contributing to movement are soil conditions, site location, site drainage, …


When Your Property Springs A Leak

Disputes over water ingress and damage, most commonly between adjoining properties, are costly and time-consuming to resolve. If water has entered from a neighbouring property, this is not a cost that you should necessarily have to bear. It is important to ascertain who is liable for the flow of water, either the Lot Owner or the …