What is a defect?

Under the Building Contract for New Homes, “Defect” means:
  • Work that is in breach of a warranty
  • Work that is not of a standard or quality specified in the contract
  • A failure to carry out and complete the Work in accordance with the plans and specifications and the contract
Some specific examples of defects are:
  • damage to the walls
  • incomplete roofing
  • incomplete work involving doors
  • damaged doors
  • uneven work for flooring
  • damaged flooring
  • messy work

Warranties

What are these warranties mentioned above?
Consumer Affairs Victoria Warranties
For illustration purposes only.

Warranties are what the law requires the Builder to promise or assure the owner. In the context of domestic building, they basically say that:

1. the building works should be:

2. and the materials used should be:

When and how can you check for defects?

Building Contract for New Homes Completion of Work Clause
For illustration purposes only.
You can check for defects when you inspect the premises upon Completion of Work. When you see defects and incomplete work, you should send the Builder a Defect Rectification Request within the time period specified in your contract.

Rectifying the defects

Once you’ve given your list of defects and incomplete works to the Builder/Contractor, they need to rectify said defects at no cost to you, within the time period stated in your contract.
Building Contract for New Homes Defects Rectification Clause
For illustration purposes only.

When defects turn into dispute

If the Builder/Contractor refuses to rectify the defects, or questions:
  • whether there is a defect, or
  • the extent of the defect, or
  • whether the defect has been rectified,
you make take that as a dispute, and follow the Dispute Resolution Procedure in your contract to settle it.
Building Contract for New Homes Dispute Resolution
For illustration purposes only.
This would involve sending the Builder/Contractor a Notice of Dispute, and setting a meeting to attempt to resolve the dispute amicably through honest communication and negotiation. If the dispute is not resolved within 10 business days, the parties may lodge a complaint with Building Advice and Conciliation Victoria, or ask for an inspector to be appointed.

How we can help

Construction Lawyer Melbourne has more than 10 years experience in helping home owners settle domestic building disputes. We help you with all the required paperwork, asssit in dispute resolution, and adequately represent you during directions hearings at the VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal), and in the courts.