Building and construction disputes

When to complain about defective domestic building work

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) (Act) provides key requirements and time limitations for dealing with or rectifying defective domestic building work.  The recent decision of MacFarlane v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2019] QCAT 408 (MacFarlane) illustrates the impact of failing to comply with the time frames as they apply to defective building work. [Read more…]

QBCC Home Warranty Insurance Claims – part 2

Part 5 of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (the Act) establishes a statutory insurance scheme, the purpose of which is in certain situations to provide basic assistance to consumers of residential construction work for loss associated with work that is defective or not completed. [Read more…]

BIF payment claims and the QBCC ACT – part 1

Two of the most important pieces of Queensland legislation impacting upon the building and construction industry are the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act) and the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF). [Read more…]

Why you should not engage an unlicensed building contractor

In Queensland, building work is governed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Act).  Under Schedule 1 of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Regulation 2018 (Regulation), subject to some qualifications (i.e. design work, plumbing, gas fitting etc), work is not building work (as that term is defined in Schedule 2 to the Act) if it is valued at less than $3,300.00.  Pursuant to section 42(1) of the Act, a person can only carry out or undertake to carry out building work if the person holds a contractor’s licence for the appropriate class under the QBCC Act and the Regulation.  Building work performed by an unlicensed person is unlawful building work and has significant implications for a person who engages someone who is unlicensed to perform building work. [Read more…]

Defects and completion of construction contract stages

Standard residential construction contracts entitle a builder upon completion of a nominated stage defined in the contract to submit a payment claim.  If the stage payment claim is not paid, the builder has various options available, such as suspension of the building work, referral to mediation and ultimately, termination of the contract.  Before terminating a contract in reliance upon non-payment of a stage payment claim, it is imperative the stage relied upon has in fact been completed.  Termination of a contract midway through its performance has, for both parties, significant legal and financial implications which can quickly overshadow any initial dispute between them. [Read more…]

Implications of non-compliance with the Building and Construction Commission Act (QLD) 1991

At common law there is no requirement for an enforceable contract to be in writing or for it to be accepted in the same way.  It is not uncommon for a contract to be wholly oral, or even partly written and partly oral.  Similarly, acceptance or entry into a contract (be it written, oral, or partly written and partly oral) does not have to be in writing but can be by conduct which evidences acceptance of the contractual offer made.

A simple example is a request for a quote to supply “widgets”, the supplier says they can supply the widgets but requires a 10% deposit and the buyer pays the deposit.  The buyer may not have spoken words to the effect that the quoted price has been accepted, but the conduct in paying the deposit evidences acceptance.  [Read more…]

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