Protecting your payment rights

Subcontractors charges

Subcontractors’ charges provides a way for subcontractors’ to secure money owed to them by their contractor. A charge is given to a developer to redirect money owed to them by a contractor or subcontractor.

Who are the parties involved?

The parties involved in a subcontractors’ charge include:

  •  The builder or contractor who was engaged by the developer for work
  •  The developer who owes money to the builder under the building contract.
  •  The subcontractor who is engaged by the builder to perform work under the subcontract.

Who can lodge a charge?

Any subcontractor who has been engaged to carry out work by a contractor is entitled to claim a charge over money payable by a builder or a higher contractor.

How is a charge lodged?

A notice of charge must be given to both the builder and the developer and must specify the amount and particulars of the claim in relation to the work. It must be certified by a qualified person and supported by a statutory declaration from the subcontractor.

It is recommended that you seek legal advice prior to giving a notice of charge. If you need to enforce a charge, you will need to begin legal proceedings.

Leap frogging

Leap frogging applies where a developer engages a builder or contractor who engages a subcontractor who engages another subcontractor. The subcontract can “leap frog” the builder or contractor and give a notice of charge to the developer for money owed.

You can't give a charge if you are already using adjudication or intend on using adjudication to resolve your payment dispute.

See Protecting your payment rights booklet (PDF) for further information.