Complaint against a contractor | Queensland Building and Construction Commission

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What counts as an offence?

We know seeing contractors breaking the law is frustrating. If you have evidence of a contractor doing the wrong thing, reporting this can help us improve the industry for everyone.

Offences home or property owners might report:

  • unlicensed building work—have you had work completed by someone who does not hold a QBCC licence but should
  • non-payment of the home warranty insurance by a contractor doing work for you
  • domestic contractual issues such as no or non-compliant contract
  • advertising offences.

Offences contractors might report:

  • commercial contract issues such as no or non-compliant contract
  • advertising offences
  • fit and proper concerns
  • failing to carry out commercial or statutory obligations
  • progress payment issues such as not receiving a payment schedule or payment of adjudicated amount
  • the provision of false and misleading information relating to a contractors’ minimum financial requirements.

Learn more about when a contractor is breaking the law and what evidence we need to investigate a complaint.

Criteria for us to investigate your complaint

Be aware that we can’t investigate every complaint.

To make the best use of our resources, we focus on areas where there is evidence and where consumers will be most at risk.

We understand your time is important and we want this process to be as efficient as it can be for you, so before you complete the complaint form, you must consider the questions below.

We can only accept your complaint if the work was for building work:

  • valued over $3,300
  • valued over $1,100 where it involves hydraulic services design
  • of any value where it involves:
    • drainage
    • plumbing and drainage
    • gas fitting
    • termite management – chemical
    • fire protection
    • completed residential building inspection
    • building design – low rise, medium rise and open
    • site classification
    • mechanical services.

The 'value' of the work means the reasonable cost of the work, including labour and materials.

We would need you to provide as much detail as possible in relation to the contractor. If we can't successfully identify or locate the offender, no action can be taken. At a minimum we would need:

  • your details – We keep in touch with you during the investigation. If the offender is prosecuted you will be asked to make a statement and may be required to give evidence in court
  • offender details – To take action we must locate the alleged offender. Other helpful information includes how you came in contact with the contractor, and details of any suspicious patterns of behaviour
  • site details – We use this to establish the location of any offence
  • building work details – We use this information to determine the type of construction work being done and its value (i.e. exempt work, domestic or residential work).

Without this evidence, your complaint cannot be investigated and you lose all your time spent filing a complaint. 

We will need relevant evidence in the form of copies of:

  • contracts
  • invoices
  • Plans and specifications
  • quotes
  • receipts
  • correspondence/emails from the contractor
  • advertising material
  • statements from witnesses
  • business card or documentation to identify the contractor
  • photos of building work performed, the contractor, their vehicle etc
  • emails and text messages
  • adjudicator's decision
  • Decision Certificate issued by a registrar
  • full list of payments made to the contractor and how and when they were paid
  • bank statements.

 

To allow for investigation time, we require you to make a complaint within 2 years of the date of the offence.

The legislation requires us to prosecute within either (whichever is later):

  • 3 years from the date the offence was committed or
  • 2 years from the date the QBCC first became aware of the offence.

Please provide your contact details to enable us to best investigate your information.

QBCC’s regulatory actions need to be evidence-based and when gathering and assessing potential evidence, investigators often seek further information. Being able to contact notifiers is very useful in that process.

We realise many people who provide information do not want their personal details shared with entities subject of investigations and we are sensitive to that.

Most investigations are completed without the need for investigators to obtain much more than verbal information from notifiers and copies of documents, text messages or emails and sometimes photographs.

On rare occasions however some cases do end up in court and at that time an evidentiary statement might be sought from relevant people. You may be required to commit to appear as a witness. Without this your evidence would be inadmissible.

Avoid wasting time by checking if this is the right process for your complaint.

There is a different process for the following:

Double check that it is not a complaint that we don't investigate.

 

How to make a complaint

  1. Without this evidence, your complaint cannot be investigated and you lose all your time spent filing a complaint. 

    Gather as much evidence as you can. We will need relevant evidence in the form of copies of:

    • contracts
    • invoices
    • Plans and specifications
    • quotes
    • receipts
    • correspondence/emails from the contractor
    • advertising material
    • statements from witnesses
    • business card or documentation to identify the contractor
    • photos of building work performed, the contractor, their vehicle etc
    • emails and text messages
    • adjudicator's decision
    • Decision Certificate issued by a registrar
    • full list of payments made to the contractor and how and when they were paid
    • bank statements.
  2. You will need to

    • complete all sections of the form 
    • upload supporting evidence
    • submit the form.

    Please give a detailed description of your complaint. 

    This will assist us in understanding the whole story in relation to the complaint and what offences may have occurred that you may not be aware of.

    Include details of how you came to engage the contractor, any monies paid and any other concerns you had in your dealings with the contractor.

    Attach any additional documents if there is insufficient space in the form fields.

    Lodge complaint

  1. Without this evidence, your complaint cannot be investigated and you lose all your time spent filing a complaint. 

    Gather as much evidence as you can. We will need relevant evidence in the form of copies of:

    • contracts
    • invoices
    • Plans and specifications
    • quotes
    • receipts
    • correspondence/emails from the contractor
    • advertising material
    • statements from witnesses
    • business card or documentation to identify the contractor
    • photos of building work performed, the contractor, their vehicle etc
    • emails and text messages
    • adjudicator's decision
    • Decision Certificate issued by a registrar
    • full list of payments made to the contractor and how and when they were paid
    • bank statements.
  2. Download and complete all sections of 

    Notification of offence form (PDF, 544KB)

    Please give a detailed description of your complaint. 

    This will help us understand the whole story in relation to the complaint and what offences may have occurred that you may not be aware of.

    Include details of how you came to engage the contractor, any monies paid and any other concerns you had in your dealings with the contractor.

    Attach an additional documents if there is insufficient space in the form fields.

  3. Lodge the form and copies of all supporting evidence it to us:

What happens next?

Be aware that we can’t investigate every complaint.

We have to focus on issues that provide the greatest overall benefit for all consumers. We give priority to complaints with evidence to support the offences or where there may be potential loss to consumers.

If we do investigate and take action

We will try to personally contact the contractor and discuss this matter in detail.

We may use a range of remedies which include:

  • education
  • advice
  • warnings
  • fines
  • demerit points
  • licence conditions
  • public warnings
  • injunctions
  • disciplinary action
  • prosecutions
  • licence suspension/cancellation
  • official reprimands.

Our investigations can be extensive and take time. Please wait to hear from us, rather than contacting us for updates. 

If we cannot investigate the complaint

Every complaint we receive is recorded against our records for the contractor.

Even if an investigation is not able to be conducted at this time, we will use any information provided to compile a profile of the contractor’s activity. This may help in any future investigations.

If we don't investigate, we will notify you in writing, so you are informed of our decision.

You may still have civil rights you can pursue. You should seek legal advice in relation to any civil remedies.


Last reviewed: 30 Aug 2021 Last published: 30 Aug 2021
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