Building Disputes

Resolve a dispute with a builder, plumber or other tradesperson

Building Disputes

Take swift action and try to avoid litigation by resolving building and construction disputes before they end up in court

The key issues explained

Building and construction disputes often escalate. Fast! Anger can get in the way, clouding the judgement of both building owners and contractors. It’s important to work out what the real and compelling issues are before attempting any resolution.
People you’re in dispute with will often give you exactly what you want. It’s therefore surprising how often nobody thinks to ask what each party to a dispute actually wants. Clarifying exactly what each party wants often sets the stage for resolving problems quickly and economically.
In an ideal world, you might want a contractor to provide you with a new roof. Chances are that you might also be happy with a roof that no longer leaks. Before attempting to resolve a dispute you should work out what your “bottom line” position really is.

Where do you presently stand?

Is your contractor prepared to negotiate? How far will they bend to make you happy? Do they have a history of ending up in court with property owners? Are you covered by insurance? It’s important to know the answers to these and many other questions to understand your current situation.
Do you have a written contract? What does the contract really say? Are you 100% certain of your grounds for the dispute you are having? Seeking independent advice from an experienced building and construction lawyer will help you to understand how strong your current position really is.
Attempting to avoid confrontation and conflict is likely to help. Introducing a third party to negotiate on your behalf, such as a building and construction lawyer, will often take much of the heat out of a tense situation and improve your prospects of an acceptable outcome.

What are your options?

Your contractor may just walk away and leave you in the lurch. If your works are covered by insurance eventually your period of cover will expire. It is important that you take swift action to avoid the prospect of being forced to meet the cost of fixing the problem.
If trying to reason with your contractor had worked you would not be looking at this website.
Your lawyer will be able to accurately assess the legal merits of your dispute and help you to understand if your prospects of resolution are strong.

What are your likely outcomes?

Things will probably escalate and get worse. Maybe much worse. If your works are covered by insurance your claim window may pass. You’ll almost certainly be left with works that will cost you money to fix.
Your contractor negotiates building and construction disputes all the time. You probably don’t, which places you at a distinct disadvantage.
An experienced building and construction lawyer stands a good chance of keeping your dispute out of court and obtaining a speedy, satisfactory solution. They’ll also be able to tell you when it’s time to cease being nice and institute proceedings.

What you should do now