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neighbour dispute over fences

Neighbour Dispute Over Fences

  Dividing Fences—the great neighbourly divide The ‘dividing fence’ is often a hot topic for neighbours.  Help, however, is at hand in the form of the Dividing Fences Act 1992 (NSW) (Act). The Act empowers both NCAT and the Local Court to resolve disputes about dividing fences.  NCAT has an unlimited jurisdiction for these matters, […]

defective home building works sydney

Defective Home Building Work Sydney

Defective work—Appeal Panel considers the scope of ‘major’ defect The Home Building Act In Ashton v Stevenson; Stevenson v Ashton [2019] NSWCATAP 67 NCAT’s Appeal Panel considered the vexed question of what is a ‘major’ defect under the Home Building Act 1989 (Act). The concept of ‘major’ defect was introduced by the Home Building Amendment […]

defective building works sydney

Accountability for defective building works in Sydney

This week’s Four Corners report leaves no doubt that the legacy of Australia’s 20 years of building boom is a high rise residential sector in crisis.  Strata schemes and lot owners are grappling not only with the inflammable cladding debacle but with widespread and systemic building defects, often to the structure of buildings or to […]

combustible cladding fire safety regulations

Combustible cladding update

External cladding fire safety regulations. In November 2017, the NSW Government legislated to ‘ban’ ACP with retrospective effect by the introduction of the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017. In August 2018 the Commissioner issued a Building Product Use Ban (the Ban) for external cladding with a core comprising more than 30% polyethylene. The Ban is […]

neighbour dispute trees

Disputes Between Neighbours —Trees and Hedges

Neighbourhood disputes over tree branches. I deal with a variety of disputes between neighbours.  These can arise for many reasons including dividing fences or retaining walls in disrepair, encroaching garages, nuisance claims of noise and pollution, use of right of ways, high hedges and overhanging branches. In this issue, I deal with tree disputes, an […]

limitation periods for defective work

Appeal Panel revisits limitation periods for defective building work

Defective building work and the Home Building Act 1989 (HBA). In Hutchings v Hope [2019] NSWCATAP 59, the Appeal Panel clarified whether the two-year limitation period found in section 18E of the Home Building Act 1989 (HBA) altered the six-year limitation period for breach of contract found in section 14 (1) of the Limitation Act […]

security of payment legislation

Reform to Security of Payment Legislation

Federal Government to review Security of Payment laws.  Last year the Federal Government commissioned a review of its nationwide Security of Payment laws.  The resulting “Murray Report’ made 86 recommendations including the adoption of a national framework and the extension of the laws to residential building work. Currently, it is only subcontractors working for a […]

strata builders duty of care

New Duty of Care may mean extended protection for strata Owners Corporations

Duty of Care and Strata Owners Corporations.  The Government has said that it intends to introduce an over-arching duty of care on the part of ‘building professionals’, to be owed to Owners Corporations. The current problem is that an owners corporation is a creature of statute.  It comes into existence on the registration of the […]

Strata Mediation Portal Website

Department of Fair Trading and strata mediation. The mediation service offered by Fair Trading can be invaluable in resolving the most common strata disputes involving the use of common property, pets and parking. Overseen by experienced and impartial mediators, the process is free and widely available to occupiers, residents and workers in strata schemes. This […]