Building Disputes - Strata

Watson & Watson’s building and construction lawyers have many years of experience resolving building disputes, including those relating to work undertaken within a Strata Scheme.

Building work within a Strata Scheme may be initiated by the Owners Corporation, or by an individual property owner who is commissioning building work within their own unit (with the permission of the Owners Corporation). Disputes between builders and those who retain them, can sometimes occur, requiring the specialist expertise of a building and construction lawyer.

Disputes in relation to building for a single owner or a couple is one thing but building disputes which relate to an Owners Corporation where there are very many different owners with different expectations means and abilities are very difficult and require proper management of the dispute.  Watson & Watson are experienced in such disputes.

Disputes may arise as a result of:

  1. The original developer having produced a building which is not properly constructed in accordance with the requirements of good building practice or other statutory requirements.
  2. The terms of a building contract and more importantly particularly what is excluded from a building contract or has been omitted for one reason or another.
  3. There are numerous statutory requirements some of which and most of which apply notwithstanding what is written or omitted from a building contract.  Some of these include:
    • Home Building Act 1989;
    • Environmental and Planning Act 1979;
    • Strata Titles Act 1973;
    • Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999;
    • Contractors Debt Act 1997;
    • Workers Compensation Act 1987;
    • Industrial Relations Act 1996; and
    • Payroll Act 2007.
  4. Work not completed in accordance with the contract, specifications, plans, approvals or good building practice and various building codes.
  5. Incomplete, unfinished or poor quality work.
  6. Delays in the completion of works required to be undertaken.  If there is a time specified in the contract then the works are required to be undertaken within the time specified in the contract.  If there is no specified time in the contract the works are required to be undertaken within a reasonable time.   Some questions for consideration are:
    • Which building contract is appropriate for your situation?
    • What are the problems with the proposed building contract?
    • What special conditions should be incorporated into the contract?

Watson & Watson lawyers are experienced in contract law and can ensure that the building contract is drawn up correctly, negotiate any amendments on your behalf, and help you to understand the terms. Building contracts can be complex, including architect and engineer plans, and council development application consent documents. Getting advice is important.

Watson & Watson are experts in strata legislation and how it applies to building works, and can help you to resolve any disputes that may arise during the course of the work or as a result of defective or incomplete building work by existing builders or previous builders.  Watson & Watson can represent you in Court or Tribunals such as the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Watson & Watson's clients include owners of strata title lots, Owners Corporations, Executive Committees, builders, subcontractors, architects, consultants, contractors and/or various parties involved with building and construction undertakings.

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