Steps to Resolve Domestic Building Disputes
When things go wrong with your new home build, it can be hard to find out where to go to get help in getting things fixed. For example, your new home may have defects your builder is refusing to fix. Alternatively, there may be ongoing delays in getting your home finished. It is always best to try and resolve any disputes with your builder directly. But what happens if this doesn't work? Fortunately, Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) is an avenue that is free, fair and fast.
At New Home Building Inspections we can assist you in determining whether you are eligible to apply to the DBDRV. In addition, we can help you through the process. This includes providing a comprehensive Building Defects Inspection Report.
Are you Eligible to Apply to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV)?
To be able to apply to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria you need to first try and resolve the issues you have with your builder first. Importantly, you need to provide evidence to the DBDRV that you have in fact taken reasonable steps to sort the issues out with the builder before applying to them for assistance.
To do this, you need to show that:
- You have made repeated efforts to contact your builder
- If your builder is willing, engaged with them to try and resolve the issues
- Advise your builder that you intend to take the matter to the DBDRV
Ways to evidence that you have taken the above actions include:
- Keeping records of all conversations you have with your builder and taking photos of the defects
- If you are still unable to resolve the matter, put the issues in writing to your builder. Request a response within a reasonable timeframe of between 2 and 4 weeks.
New Home Building Inspections can assist you with corresponding with your builder outlining the issues you have.
How to Apply to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria
Once you have determined that you think you are eligible to apply to the DBDRV, the next step is to complete an online application. Your application needs to include details of your dispute, as well as contact details for you and your builder.
A Dispute Resolution Officer then assesses the application. Once your application has been assessed the DBDRV will let you know if it falls within it's jurisdiction.
New Home Building Inspections can assist you with lodging your online application.
The Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Conciliation Process
If the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria advises you that your application is accepted then the matter will proceed to conciliation.
For the conciliation process you will need to make sure that you put your best case forward. This means providing all relevant documentation.
- architectural and/or engineering drawings
- building permit and plans
- records of any inspections undertaken by a building surveyor
- variation requests
- extension of time requests
- correspondence with the other party relevant to your dispute
- your occupancy permit (for newly built homes) or your certificate of final inspection (for renovations).
At New Home Building Inspections we assist home owners prepare for the conciliation process by providing a comprehensive Building Defects Inspection Report. This report is an expert opinion that is independent and unbiased. Our report is based on Australian Building Codes and Standards. To make the report as clear as possible, it contains photographs of all defects.
Outcomes from Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Application
The following are possible outcomes from your Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria application:
If an agreement has been reached it will be formally documented, including dates that action must be taken by (eg rectification of defects).
Dispute Resolution Order
If no or only a partial agreement is reached, the Dispute Resolution Officer may issue a binding order against one or both parties. For example, they may order that money be held in the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund, until the defective or incomplete building work is fixed or completed.
Certificate of Conciliation
Alternatively, if you and your builder are unable to resolve your dispute at the conciliation conference, the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer may issue the parties with a certificate of conciliation that the dispute has not been resolved. You can then proceed to VCAT.
With our independent expertise we will advise you on your building dispute. We assist with both new home build as well as renovation disputes. Let us take some of the stress away when your new home or renovation doesn't go to plan.