VCAT & Dispute Resolution
It is an extremely stressful time when your new home has building defects. It is usually best if you try and resolve the dispute with your builder directly. However, this is not always possible. Sometimes a builder will refuse to rectify the defects or not even respond to your requests. If this is the case, then you need to escalate the matter to help get it resolved.
Domestic Building Resolution Victoria (DBRV)
In most cases you first need to try and resolve the dispute through Domestic Building Resolution Victoria.(DBRV) The major exception to this is where your dispute is with only a single trades person engaged directly by you to undertake specific types of work. This includes plumbing and electrical work.
At New Home Building Inspections we assist home owners prepare by providing a comprehensive Building Defects Inspection Report for the dispute resolution process through DBRV. 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.
Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
If your dispute cannot be resolved through DBRV, then the next step is to escalate the matter to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This may seem quite daunting, but it is a necessary step if other avenues have not resolved the matter.
To support your VCAT application we can provide our independent expert evidence. There are two ways we can present our expert evidence to VCAT. These are:
- providing a written report and / or
- being an independent expert witness before VCAT.
At New Home Building Inspections we are experienced in preparing VCAT compliant legal documentation that outlines the defect(s) in dispute, as well as presenting as an independent expert witness.
Steps to Resolve your Dispute
The following are steps you can take to assist in resolving the dispute with your builder:
- Try to resolve the issues with your Builder directly. It is recommended that you have an Independent Building Inspection Report that lists all the defects to show your Builder when you communicate with them
- Keep communication lines open with your Builder. In addition, make sure you keep a record of them
- If you are unable to resolve the dispute directly, apply to the DBRV and have a comprehensive Building Defects Inspection Report prepared to support your claim
- If you are unable to resolve the dispute through the DBRV then apply to VCAT. Have VCAT compliant legal documentation that outlines the defect(s) in dispute prepared. If required, also engage an Independent Expert Witness to appear before 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.