Building Disputes and Defect Inspections
Home Integrity offers comprehensive building dispute services including Defect Inspection Reports and Expert Witness Reports. We support many Perth homeowners, particularly when they require support in stating their complaint to Building and Energy or the State Administrative Tribunal.
Defects can occur in all types of buildings. In most cases the builder will be happy to rectify when notified, without issue. However, in some instances, if a builder disputes a defect or cesses trading before the defect can be addressed, you may need professional advice or the assistance of Building and Energy to find a resolution.
When can a Complaint be Made?
A complaint concerning faulty and defective work can be made up to 6 years after practical completion, whether you were the original owners/client or not.
Practical Completion would normally occur when the Practical Completion Inspection was carried out, just prior to key handover or final payment.
Builder’s Liability covers more than just the “Structural Warranty” to structural elements. It encompasses all faulty and defective work to all building elements including roof leaks, water ingress and ceramic tiling just to name a few. Replacement of items due to wear and tear is not the builder’s responsibility.
Notice of Proposed Complaint
Before lodging a complaint with Building and Energy, you need to complete a Notice of Proposed Complaint and give the builder at least 14 days to respond before submitting a formal complaint to Building and Energy.
It is at this point we suggest a defect inspection which includes:
- Site inspection/investigations
- A Defect Liability Report in accordance with AS 4349.0
- Support with lodging Notice of Proposed Complaint and Building Complaint forms
Our inspectors will review your property and provide a list of alleged defects to present to the builder. The builder is informed of the intent to lodge a complaint and given 14 days to respond.
The builder should then assess the items raised, fix them, or dispute them and give a reason why they don’t believe it’s a defect, or why they are not responsible. This will filter out the defects that aren’t in dispute.
Should any defects remain in dispute, or a satisfactory response is not received, a Building Complaint Form can be lodged with Building and Energy together with copies of relevant documents and the complaint fee.
Building and Energy may then request a more detailed Expert Witness Report. This can be provided and quoted on separately, once we know the extent of the reporting requirement.
We suggest clients start with the Defect Inspection Report as sometimes it is all that is required to stimulate the builder into action and no other reporting is required. It also filters out defects the builder does not dispute. This minimises the time spent preparing the expert report and cost.
State Administrative Tribunal or a Court of Law
Home Integrity appears as an Expert Witness for cases trialled at either the State Administrative Tribunal or a Court of Law. For this process, you will require an Expert Witness Report.
Expert Witness Report
Expert Witness Reports are far more detailed than the concise Home Integrity Defect Inspection Report. They include photographs and assessments against relevant building codes, standards, and laws. They also explain in detail why the issue is or isn’t a defect and provides suggested recommendations to remedy.
This service can include
- Complainant statements
- Inspector observations and comments
- Photos of the defects
- References to relevant sections of Guides, Codes, Standards, and manufacturer’s specifications
- Suggested action/remedy
- Access to specialized equipment and consultants
- Support with lodging Building and Energy forms
- Representation as an Expert Witness at State Administrative Tribunal
What is the Next Step?
If you would like some advice regarding your situation and to see if we are a suitable fit, please call 0420 803 292 or Contact Us and we can discuss your unique situation and the recommended path forward.