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Home Building Act 2014

by David Andrews
15 January 2015
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On 15 January 2015 the amendments to the Home Building Act, 1989 and the Home Building Regulation 2014 came into force.

These present new challenges for home owners, owners corporations, community associations, owner-builders, builders, sub-contractors and developers alike. The amendments by no means maintain the status quo, and although this is not a wholesale upheaval of the legislation, non-compliant operators beware. There are a number of (as yet untested) new rules which you need to be alive to and the penalties for non-compliance are significant.

The amendments are intended to:

  • reduce unnecessary red tape;
  • provide clarity;
  • help reduce the number of disputes;
  • provide “appropriate” levels of consumer protections; and
  • attempt to improve sustainability in the building industry and the home owners warranty insurance scheme.

The licencing regime under the Act is also being tightened, with increased penalties applying and provisions allowing the Office of Fair Trading to scrutinise applicants for licenses.

There is much rhetoric around the extent of the amendments as this is the biggest shake up of the law surrounding home building disputes and home building claims since the amendments in October 2011. Close attention will be required, as the rights and obligations for builders, developers, owners corporations and home owners have been altered. The Makinson d’Apice team are developing a suite of resources to help navigate the maze of amendments. These can be found here as they are released.

Contact a member of our team for more information.

Resources

Keep Calm and Read On! Cutting through the rhetoric of the HBA  
General Requirements for issue of Contractor's licenses

Home Owners Warranty Insurance Ready Reckoner:

We have produced a guide to the various Schemes of Home Owners Warranty Insurance (now to be known as: "insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund") which have operated since 1 July 2002. If you would like a copy of our guide, please email Joylynne Nifo detailing your Name, Position, Company and Email Address at jnifo@makdap.com.au .

Please note, however, that our Ready Reckoner is intended as a guide only. As the current transitional provisions come into operation on a practical basis, we will likely begin to see the full effect of the changes. It is therefore important that if you have this insurance, you obtain specific legal advice concerning your circumstances