QBCC Commissioner Anissa Levy says Queensland is the only state to offer first resort home warranty consumer protection cover.
“Customers can face many challenges when a construction company collapses and there are contracts and incomplete projects they need to navigate,” Ms Levy says.
“One of the reasons the QHWS is in place, is to help protect homeowners when something like this happens.
“Last financial year, the QBCC approved claims totalling $36 million under the QHWS.
“This money helps thousands of Queenslanders who have been left with unfinished projects, or if a builder has failed to rectify defective works, or if their building has been affected by subsidence or settlement,” Ms Levy says.
The QHWS extends coverage for incomplete residential construction work where the homeowner has paid a deposit, but work has not started. In these circumstances, the scheme may refund the deposit to the homeowner.
Where work has started the QHWS may cover completion of the work up to a maximum of $200,000. The level of assistance the scheme can provide will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
There are certain eligibility requirements for a non-completion claim. The contract must be validly terminated within two years of work commencing on site, and the claim must be made within three months of the termination. Homeowners are encouraged to seek legal advice about their contractual rights and obligations. Commissioner Levy is also reminding homeowners that claims can take time.
“Every claim is unique and approval times for claims will vary, depending on a range of factors. Simpler claims can be processed quickly (for example, deposit refunds where no work has started). However, more complex non-completion claims require careful consideration and may therefore take longer to assess.
“In all other states in Australia, a consumer has to wait until the builder is deceased, insolvent or is otherwise non-contactable, before a homeowner can make a claim, or exhaust all other options via a court process,” Ms Levy says.
For residential construction projects, the QHWS provides claims coverage of up to $200,000 for incomplete work, and up to $200,000 for defective work or subsidence-related issues post completion.
The work is covered for a period of 6 years 6 months. Further information about the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme is available on the QBCC website.
Oracle Building Corporation Pty Ltd
Queensland homeowners who have a contract with Oracle Building Corporation Pty Ltd Homes and have paid a deposit can make a claim under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.
With the consent of the appointed liquidators, the QBCC cancelled Oracle’s QBCC licence on Friday, 26 August 2022. This will save homeowners time and money because all contracts between Queensland homeowners and Oracle are ‘at and end’.
Consequently, it is not necessary for homeowners to terminate their contract with Oracle prior to making a claim under the QHWS.
There are time limits that apply to coverage under the QHWS. Affected consumers have until Monday, 28 November 2022 to lodge a claim for refund of deposit or for completion of their home.
Non-completion claims lodged after this date will not be eligible for assistance.