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Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers has experience in dealing with claims arising from building defects, acting for builders, subcontractors and owners.

There are various legal avenues for building defects complaints, depending on the type of building work and the agreement with the builder. Some examples of possible avenues are set out below.

Building Commission Complaint

The right to make a complaint against a builder for building defects that is most commonly relied on is found in section 5 of the Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act 2011 (WA).

This allows a person to make a complaint to the Building Commission about a regulated building service “not being carried out in a proper and proficient manner or being faulty or unsatisfactory”.

Importantly, this section gives a right of complaint to people who do not have a contractual relationship with a builder, as well as those who do. This is important to owners of apartment buildings, who usually sign a contract with a developer, and not the builder.

If a complaint is successful, the Building Commission or the State Administrative Tribunal would usually make an order requiring the builder to fix the defective work. The Building Commission or the State Administrative Tribunal may also make an order requiring the builder to pay the costs of fixing the building defects.

Negligence or Breach of Contract

A claim may also be made in the District Court or Supreme Court for breach of contractual obligations or negligence.

The contract with a builder will often expressly include a clause that the builder will perform the building work in a good and workmanlike manner. If this is not an express term, it may be an implied term in the contract.

A builder may also have a duty, in negligence, to ensure that the building work is built in a good and workmanlike manner.

For the purchase of an apartment building, a contract between a purchaser and the developer will commonly include a clause that the developer will use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the development was constructed by the builder in a good and workmanlike manner.

Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers may provide assistance about your specific circumstances, whether you are a builder or subcontractor who is being alleged of undertaking defective work, or an owner of a property that has been completed with defective work.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please don't hesitate to contact us.