Whether you are an Owner, Builder, Developer or Contractor dealing with domestic or commercial defective works, we can help.
Building Defect Rectification
The key issues explained
Work that is in breach of your contract by failing to maintain a specified standard or quality, or is a breach of any implied warranty must be rectified by the contractor under Victorian law.
That will depend upon the contract. In the case of Victorian builders, they generally have three, six or nine months to fix defects arising out of contracted works. You need to know what your contract says.
Chances are you’ll be covered by insurance required under Victoia’s laws. That’s where an experienced building and construction lawyer can step in and help you.
Where do you presently stand?
Determining your current situation may not be straightforward. Your works contract will generally contain provisions for rectifying defects, which may not be to your advantage. It is important that you develop a sound understanding of your rights and obligations under the works contract.
Developing a thorough understanding of your present situation will lead you to knowing how strong your current position is. Getting to that point is not always easy and there is a good chance that you’ll require professional legal help.
Being adversarial with your contractor is unlikely to get you what you want. If communication has broken down or is headed in that direction, you should think about introducing an objective third party like a building and construction lawyer.
What are your options?
If your works are covered by insurance your period of cover will eventually expire, which is bad news for you. Your contractor may cease negotiating with you entirely in the hope that you’ll just go away. It is important that you take decisive action and avoid the costs associated with rectifying the defects yourself.
Simply understanding your rights and obligations is complex. Your contractor knows this and may seek to take advantage of you because of that knowledge. When it comes to rectifying building defects, the DIY approach is most often a road to nowhere.
Contractors will often be unwilling to engage with building owners, especially if have already been paid for their work and/or they consider their work to be complete. Engaging an experienced building and construction lawyer at the earliest possible time is most often the best option when attempting to have building defects rectified.
What are your likely outcomes?
The contractor will most likely ignore you and hope that you give up on having their defective work rectified. If your works are subject to insurance coverage your claim window may expire. Either way, you’ll be left with the responsibility and cost of rectifying works yourself.
Your contractor will most likely have negotiated their way through defective works rectification disputes many times before. That places you at a serious disadvantage. Some minor issues can be sorted out with a DIY approach. The bigger the problem, the less likely you are to succeed with that.
An experienced building and construction lawyer knows the most likely ways to help you avoid the hassle and expense of litigation. They can provide an objective voice of reason – and let you know when reason has failed and action should be taken. Boutique Lawyers are Melbourne’s leading building and construction law firm.
What you should do now
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