major minor defects home building act

Home Building Act 1989—Major or Minor Defects

The Appeal Panel’s decision in Ashton v Stevenson (discussed in issue 7, August 2019) has been subject to appeal. At first instance, the Senior Member classified defects to the external balcony and cladding as major defects. The Appeal Panel disagreed and held that those defects were ’minor’. One effect of this decision was that those […]

home owner cancels contract on builder

Contract is King—High Court restricts availability of quantum meruit

In Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 32 the High Court clarified the availability of the restitutionary remedy of ’quantum meruit’ to a builder in the specific circumstances where the builder terminates the contract following repudiatory behaviour of a homeowner. A literal translation of ‘quantum meruit’ is ’the amount he deserves’. It can […]

statutory warranties combustible cladding

Statutory warranties and combustible cladding

The Owners SP 92888 v Taylor Construction Group and Frasers Putney [2019] NSWCAT is NSW’s first foray into the combustible cladding arena but is analogous to VIC’s ‘absolute test for fitness for purpose’ decision arising from the Lacrosse fires (Owners Corporation No.1 of PS613436T v LU Simon Builders Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2019] VCAT […]

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 […]