If you have been the victim of defective or incomplete domestic building work then you may be eligible to claim from the QBCC insurance scheme to allow rectification of the defects and completion of the works.
Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) administers a compulsory domestic building insurance scheme- the QBCC Insurance Scheme. When you sign a building contract for the construction or additions to a domestic building, the insurance is paid by the builder.
When is QBCC Insurance Required (or Applicable)?
The insurance scheme applies where there is defective building work or where the contract with the builder has been lawfully terminated or the building company has become insolvent (liquidated or bankrupt).
Once a claim has been made to the QBCC, an inspector will assess the defective or incomplete work and issue a notice to the builder to rectify or complete the work within (usually) 14 days. If the original builder refuses or is unable to rectify the work, the QBCC will ask you to obtain quotations from other contractors.
Assuming these are in order, the QBCC will approve and insurance payment for the lowest quotation and then you may choose any contractor to rectify the problems. (You might be interested in viewing the qbcc insurance table 2018, link to pdf supplied below)
Insurance is usually available for minor defects up to 6 months from the date of practical completion and for structural or major defects up to 6 years.
The QBCC Early Dispute Resolution also offers mediation services and may be able to assist you with general inquiries with respect to builders prior to commencement of building works.
Prior to entering into a contract with a builder, we recommend that you make inquiries of your builder’s qualifications, seek references from past clients and consult with your solicitor.
If you would like any information on the QBCC or your entitlement to claim under the Insurance scheme, contact us today.
For more information you can contact Queens Building and Construction Commission. QBCC Insurance Contact Number: 139 333 business hours: 7am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, Overseas callers: +61 7 3447 2160. Or email them, QBCC Insurance Email
QBCC Useful Links
In this construction law blog, Paul Rojas discusses a recent case where the validity of a charge issued pursuant to the Subcontractors’ Charges Act 1974 (Qld) (“the SCA”) was considered.
Our client issued tax invoices in respect of its work. Unfortunately, the builder soon entered into Administration so our client issued a subcontractors’ charge pursuant to the SCA for the unpaid tax invoices to the developer. Several other subcontractors also lodged charges. The developer paid the funds into Court and the builder proceeded to issue a notice under the SCA certifying the full amount claimed by our client as owing.
Several of the parties commenced proceedings to secure their charges within the one-month time limit. Our client did not. These parties then successfully applied to have the proceedings combined and the funds paid out of Court. The Court retained an amount for our client’s claim.
Our client proceeded to obtain legal advice that his subcontractors’ charge had expired because he had not commenced proceedings within one month after the charge had been served.
We were subsequently engaged by our client to recover the funds paid into Court.
We were required to consider whether our client’s failure to commence proceedings within one month after service of the charge had caused the charge to become invalid.
Our client was fortunate in that the period the builder was in Administration stopped the one-month period from running. This period restarted once the builder entered into a deed of company arrangement.
During the period of the Builder’s Administration, several other subcontractors had also commenced proceedings to enforce their charges under the SCA. The effect of this was that:
- those proceedings were brought on behalf of every other subcontractor who had issued a charge under the SCA; and
- where the one-month period our client had to commence proceedings had not expired, our client was entitled to “piggy-back” onto those charges by joining the proceedings commenced by the other subcontractors.
However, our client was not able to simply commence fresh proceedings and apply to have them joined. It needed to identify which proceedings had been commenced within the one-month period and seek to be joined to them as a Plaintiff. Fortunately, those proceedings were the proceedings in which the developer had paid money into Court.
Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyer, Madison Lodder, appeared and successfully obtained orders for payment of our client’s charge.
The above illustrates the importance of engaging lawyers who understand the complexities of construction law and the operation of the SCA.
The RCR Construction team are able to assist in providing advice and strategies for recovery of claims made pursuant to the SCA. Contact our Construction team, please call us on (07) 3009 8444 or email us at email@example.com.
The above information is intended only as general information and should not be interpreted or relied upon for legal advice.
In late 2017, the Queensland Government enacted the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (“the BIF Act”). The BIF Act brings significant changes to the security of payment regime for the Queensland building and construction industry.