Construction Lawyer & Building Solicitors Sydney | Contracts Specialist Law Firm

Common Defect Work:
Building Liability

You can be confident that you are getting the right legal advice.
Contracts Specialist can tell you exactly what you should do.

Learning about building liabilities can reduce the
risk of potential fallout.

Defective construction works should be charged to the person who is responsible for it. Issues are unavoidable and can thus cause stress and disappointment along the way. But you should also know that these are just part of the whole construction process. The goal is to oblige the side accountable for the defect to remedy the situation. Usually, the root cause of a construction defect is based on the contracts between the homeowners, contractors, subcontractors, and other people involved in the project.


Legal building liabilities are one’s obligations to such defective works.
Construction contracts generally indicate a defects liability period. This part of a contract is intended for the possible repairing or rectifying of defects to be done by the contractor. The defects liability period starts from the exact date of the completion of the construction work and after the maintenance period.

Specialist building and construction lawyers of Contracts Specialist can explain these things to you better and in ways you would understand.

Building Defects and its Liabilities

Some defects within a property that was constructed or renovated can be claimed if the defects fall within the six (6) years period upon the completion date. This is according to NSW Home Warranty Insurance.


The common complaints about building and construction defects are negligence,
breach of contract, breach of warranty, strict liability, and fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

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Negligence

The contractor, subcontractor, and developer, when employed by building professionals, are required to exercise the reasonable degree of care, skill, and knowledge. Moreover, the contractors are accountable for the negligence of their subcontractors.

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Breach of Contract

If there is a breach of contract, homeowners can sue the builder, contract, or anyone who  contributed to the construction work. Such breach is because a person failed to comply in accordance with the set plans and specifications stated in the construction contract.

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Breach of Warranty

Warranty refers to a written guarantee with a specified period of time. The building contract that was signed by the builder, and agreed upon by the homeowner, has an indication of the warranty regarding the condition of the property.

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Strict Liability

With strict liability, lets say in homeowner-vs-contractor cases, the homeowner does not need to prove that the contractor was negligent in the construction of the home. However, they are required to prove that the contractor was involved in mass production of housing, defects in the house exist, created damages due to defects, and he/she has caused the defect.

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Fraud and Negligent Misrepresentation

Fraud happens when a builder or contractor intentionally misrepresented the quality of construction in false statements. As the project went on, the builder had no intention of complying with the agreed design plans and specifications.

In addition, negligent misrepresentation arises when the builder or contractor stated something as factual, but there is no reasonable basis for it to be true.

Defects Liability Clauses

In a residential building contract, defect liability clauses may also outline:

  • the scope of defects the Contractor is required to remedy;
  • parts of the contract sum retained by the owner as security for the performance of defect rectification work;
  • procedures for notifying the contractor of defects; and
  • if the defects liability can be extended.

Defects Liability Period

The warranty used on contracts for a new house is called the defects and liability period. Generally, the warranty lasts for thirteen (13) weeks for a newly finished house. In some instance, it is better to ask your builder about other important details. The content of the contract when it comes to the period covered can vary depending on the agreement.

A well-written letter may be used to send your other concerns to the builder. Keep the copy as a proof of your intent. The contractor has the responsibility to always check that the construction work is free of major defects for six (6) years, starting from the time when the work is completed. And, two (2) years for all other defects.

How Contracts Specialist Can Help You

We only work on Sydney construction law matters so you can be confident you are getting the right advice. We will go over your construction contract, investigate if a breach has been made, and see where you stand legally. We work on building dispute cases day in and day out, and we have most probably handled a case with similar circumstances to yours. We will use our experience and expertise to guide you through the whole legal process. 

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We will inform you of your legal rights. 

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We can help enforce your right in the New South Wales Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and the courts. 

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We can enforce and defend your contractual rights including terminating your contract with the other part.

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