Complaints about defective building work - scenarios

Defective work by contractor

Scenario 1

Madison hired a contractor to build an extension on her house but has now, 18 months later, noticed a water leak in the ceiling. The contractor keeps promising to send someone out to fix the leak but nothing ever happens.

Madison is eligible to use our dispute service because she is the property owner, the work was building work and the contract has been completed.

What outcome can Madison expect?

Madison had notified the contractor in writing of the roof leak and included all of the required documents with her online submission, putting her in the best position to avoid delays by having to provide further information later. One of our Resolution Services officers will review Madison’s submission and contact both Madison and her contractor. The contractor will be asked to contact Madison to arrange to view and fix the leak. If the contractor repairs the leak, no inspection of the item is required, both parties can move on and the case will be finalised.

If the contractor fails to repair the leak, one of our Building Inspectors will arrange to inspect the item with Madison and the contractor. If the item is defective building work, the contractor is likely to be issued a Direction to Rectify giving them 28 days to fix the leak. The Direction to Rectify will appear on the contractor’s public licence history. If the contractor fails to comply with the Direction to Rectify, they can receive a fine or be prosecuted. As the work is residential construction work, Madison’s case will then be assessed for a possible claim under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme. If a claim is approved, we will recover the cost from the contractor.

Scenario 2

Sherri and Ian are looking forward to moving into their new home. The contract is at handover stage and the final payment is due. Sherri and Ian have noticed the cooktop is scratched and the plasterboard wall in the living room is dented. They don’t want to pay the final payment until these are fixed.

Sherri and Ian are eligible to apply to use our dispute resolution service because they are the property owners and the contract has been completed (reached practical completion).

What outcome can Sherri and Ian expect?

Sherri and Ian have no issue with the quality of building work performed, but have an issue with an installed product (cooktop) and damage to the dwelling (living room wall dent).

One of our Resolution Services officers will review Sherri and Ian’s submission and call both them and their contractor to try to facilitate an acceptable agreement. If this happens, the case will be finalised. The QBCC is not a party to the agreement and we do not formally document it.

If the parties cannot agree, and as there is no issue with the quality of the work, we would not conduct an inspection. The case will be closed and both parties will receive a letter from the QBCC allowing them to apply to QCAT if they would like to commence a building dispute.

Scenario 3

Franco represents a body corporate of 52 home units. The body corporate hired a painter to repaint the exterior of the units. The paint is peeling and bubbling in large patches on various areas of some of the units. The painter won’t return Franco’s calls. Franco hired a building consultant to prepare a report on the paint work. The building consultant has provided a report listing 23 items.

Franco is eligible to apply to use our dispute resolution service because he represents a body corporate, the complaint is about a common property area, the work is building work and the contract has been completed.

What outcome can Franco expect?

Franco had notified the painter in writing of each of the 23 items and listed these individually in his online submission, putting him in the best position to avoid delays by having to provide further information later. One of our Resolution Services officers will review Franco’s submission and contact both Franco and the painter. The painter will be asked to contact Franco to arrange to view and fix the items. If the painter repairs the items, no inspection is required, both parties can move on and the case will be finalised.

If the painter fails to repair the items, one of our Building Inspectors will arrange to inspect the items with Franco and the painter. If any items are  defective building work, the painter is likely to be issued a Direction to Rectify giving 28 days to fix the defective items. The Direction to Rectify will appear on the painter’s public licence history. If the painter fails to comply with the Direction to Rectify, they can receive a fine or be prosecuted. Franco’s case may then be assessed for a possible claim under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme. If a claim is approved, we will recover the cost from the contractor.