A home reaches practical completion or is ready for handover when all the building work has been done and you are able to move in, i.e it is reasonably suitable for habitation. Some minor defects and minor omissions are acceptable.

You will find a full definition of practical completion in your contract under general conditions. Make sure you read this before handover day and making your final payment.

Your contractor should advise you 2 to 3 weeks in advance of when they expect to do the handover.

Pre-handover inspection

We recommend that you arrange an on-site inspection before the handover date. This is a final opportunity to discuss any issues before handover.

Handover day

Make sure you get copies of any outstanding documents such as:

  • certificates of inspection (e.g. slab, frame, waterproofing)
  • product warranties for appliances
  • reports, notices or other documentation issued by services providers (e.g. electricity, gas, telephone, water or sewerage). Note: if you have any problems with appliances after handover, contact the product supplier not your contractor.

Final payment due

For contracts to build a new home or to renovate, alter, extend or repair a home, final payment is made at practical completion. This is when:

  • all contracted work is completed in accordance with all relevant laws, legal requirements and with the plans and specifications
  • any minor defects or minor omissions are recorded on a signed defects document
  • the house is reasonably suitable for habitation (where the contract requires this).

Some contracts (including the New Home Construction Contract) require the contractor to provide all certificates of inspection (including the 'final' certificate) before they receive final payment.

Defective items

The contractor must give you a defects document which:

  • lists any minor defects/minor omissions that the contractor and owner agree exist and states when the contractor will deal with these
  • lists any minor defects or minor omissions that only the owner believes exist
  • must be signed by the homeowner and the contractor and copied to the owner.

A contractor must repair any defects noticed at handover, or within 12 months of when the work is finished. You must notify the contractor of any such defects within 12 months of when you notice them.

QBCC's complaints process provides information about what to do if the contractor fails to correct these defects.