Home defects and the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme QBCC
Managing a defect that you've noticed with your newly completed build or renovation requires careful consideration and rapid action with both the builder and the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
One of the most effective ways of responding to identified defects, prior to hand over, is the Practical Completion inspection process that your builder is required to complete with you or your representative. That process allows for all defects to be identified, recorded and then managed in consultation with the builder prior to the finalisation of Practical Completion and often the final payment under the contract.
If you are in the process of building or renovating, we recommend implementing formalised processes with your builder as soon as possible to assist in preventing future concerns.
If you have taken possession of your new home or your home following renovation and you notice a defect that involves water leaking, ingress of water into the structure of the home (no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time), or any other potential structural defect we recommend taking urgent action with your builder and the QBCC.
Often clients will advise us that they notified the builder of the defect and thought that would be sufficient for them to still retain insurance protection under the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme managed by the QBCC. Unfortunately, notifying only the builder and not the QBCC as the insurer can have serious consequences for homeowners.
QBCC Structural Defect Process (our recommended approach)
The process to manage a defect that could be structural, is to:
Immediately take photos or video of the defect.
Notify your builder via email and attach the video / photos.
Within 3 months (this is a very strictly applied time frame), notify the QBCC online of the defect. Three months is the limit of your time, and we would recommend notifying the QBCC as soon as possible after you have identified the defect.
Advise your builder that you've also notified the QBCC as your insurer as a matter of course to ensure you maintain insurance protection in the event there is an issue with rectifying the defect.
Following this process is the most effective way we have found to communicate with the relevant parties and to protect your insurance coverage.
Further information surrounding the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme and how to notify the QBCC of building defects is available for you at Home warranty for defective work claims | Queensland Building and Construction Commission (qbcc.qld.gov.au)
Contact us for assistance in managing your defects at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important to obtain specific legal advice relevant to your circumstances.