Before Lodging an Application with NCAT
Lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading: All home building disputes must first be referred to NSW Fair Trading before an application can be accepted by NCAT.
Prepare your documentation: Gather all relevant documents and information related to your dispute, including evidence of referral from NSW Fair Trading.
Eligibility Criteria for NCAT Home Building Applications
- Be a homeowner, trader, or insurer involved in a home building dispute
- Claim value up to $500,000
- Prior lodging of the claim with NSW Fair Trading and referral to NCAT
- Comply with time limits for the specific type of claim
Key Requirements for a Successful Application
- Provide personal details, credit card details, and insurance details (if applicable)
- Provide the legal name and current address of the respondent
- Include the application fee and concession card details (if applicable)
- Have access to a printer and/or scanner (if applicable)
Procedural Guideline 5 Requirements
According to NCAT Procedural Direction 5, certain building claims must be rejected, while others can be accepted without investigation. Some examples of claims that can be accepted without investigation are:
- Claims involving unlicensed contractors
- Claims against owner-builders regarding defective work
- Claims involving deregistered companies
- Claims against companies or individuals in administration, liquidation, or bankruptcy
What Happens After Lodging Your Application
Upon receiving your application, NCAT will schedule a directions hearing and notify all parties. During the directions hearing, the presiding member will ask questions to gain a clear understanding of the dispute.
The NCAT Member will probably make orders, such as requiring the parties to participate in conciliation or setting a timetable for the parties to submit their documents, including points of claim, points of defence, evidence in chief, evidence in reply, expert evidence, expert conclave, and other relevant administrative orders.
Additional Tips for Homeowners
- Seek legal advice from a professional specialising in home building disputes
- Maintain organised records of all communication, contracts, invoices, and other relevant documents
- Explore alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation or negotiation
- Stay informed about timelines, hearing dates, and be prepared to attend scheduled hearings
- Prepare a clear and concise summary of your dispute and organise your documents for presentation
- Understand possible outcomes, including financial compensation, rectification of the work, or dismissal of the claim
By following the steps, requirements, and tips outlined in this article, homeowners can confidently navigate the process of lodging a home building application with NCAT. Ensure you have met all eligibility criteria, procedural guideline requirements, and understand the proceedings after submitting your application to improve your chances of a successful resolution to your residential building dispute.
If you are a homeowner and are considering making an NCAT Application then reach out to our building and construction law firm for a free 15-minute phone consultation with an expert construction solicitor.