Rectification not money is the most likely order in a home building defects claim in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal). The emphasis having the builder return to site to rectify any defective works following amendments to the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) in 2014 (Act). This work is often outlined in a Tribunal work order.
What is a Tribunal work order?
A Tribunal work order is an order for the builder or contractor to undertake a scope of works to rectify defects, or complete works under the contract. This order can be a result of a mediation or agreement at the Tribunal, but can also be ordered as part of a determination by the Tribunal.
These orders can include;
- a scope of works to be undertaken;
- a time for the scope of works to be completed; and
- any other order the Tribunal sees fit.
The builder has not complied with the work order. What now?
In some instances, the builder or contractor may not comply with the order insofar as they may fail to complete the works on time, fail to complete the works as directed, or not undertake any works. If this happens, you are able to renew proceedings in the Tribunal seeking to enforce the Tribunal Work order. A copy of the NSW NCAT Tribunal application is available here.
Renewal proceedings are subject to their own specific rules under the Act and the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal ACT. These rules must be adhered to when commencing renewal proceedings. Mistakes in renewing proceedings can be costly, or result in the proceedings being dismissed. Some common examples of mistakes made by the renewing party include;
- the time to comply with the order has not lapsed;
- the time to renew has lapsed; and
- the defects claimed are different to those originally claimed.
Often there is a dispute as to whether the works have been undertaken or what the scope of the works were, so you must ensure that the works have not been completed.
Renewal proceedings are complex and you must consider whether renewal proceedings or fresh proceedings are the proper avenue to seek damages or rectification works. Renewal proceedings often do not provide the ability for you to raise further defects or claim damages above what is already claimed.
Nexus Construction Team and can assist you in all home building matters.
This publication is © Nexus Lawyer Group and is for general guidance only. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to any specific issues.