Resolving a Building Dispute:
1. Settling the dispute amicably with the builder.
2. Lodging a case with the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV).
3. Lodging a case with the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
These remedies are exhaustive, meaning, before you can choose number 3, you must’ve first gone and done numbers 1 and then 2, and both must’ve failed.
In fact, for the VCAT to accept your case, you need to present any of the following, from the DBDRV:
The VCAT Hearings
Supposing you’ve already tried to settle with your builder, but the issue still persists. And supposing you’ve gone to the DBDRV, but the dispute still has not been resolved or you were issued one of the certifications/orders listed above. Your next step is to lodge a case with the VCAT, where one of three things may happen:
Some key points:
You (or your representative, if you have one) need to attend the hearings. The hearings will proceed with or without you (or your representative), and the VCAT may make decisions or final orders that negatively impact you.
After the Directions hearings have been concluded, and there is still no resolution on the building dispute, the case will be scheduled for a Final hearing.
The Final hearing is different from the Directions hearings, as the former involves the examination of witnesses and of evidence. The purpose of the Final hearing is to examine the evidence and the witnesses of both sides, for the VCAT to arrive at a decision finally resolving the dispute, in which case, the VCAT will issue the corresponding Order, which is enforceable in court.
Some key points:
As far as preparations go, you will need to know:
How We Can Help You
Since Directions and Final hearings are document-intensive and involve a lot of legwork, it is recommended that you engage a construction lawyer to help you fully prepare for them.
Construction Lawyer Melbourne has been in active practice of Construction Law for more than ten years now, and we can help you thoroughly prepare for your hearings and help you vindicate your rights.
Should you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. First consult is absolutely free.