The Home Building Amendment Act 2014 comprised of various amendments to the Home Building Act 1989. These changes commenced on 15 January 2015.
There is no longer a distinction between structural and non-structural defects. There is now the two different categories of general defects and major defects. Under the Act, major defects will attract a six year warranty period and any other defects will accrue a two year warranty period. This defect period of time will begin from that date on which the works are completed. Generally, the completion date will be the date on which the occupation certificate for the home has been issued, but it may be earlier. It is recommended that you check your contract to clarify the date of which is classified as the completion date.
Major defect means any defect that is attributable to defective design, defective or faulty workmanship, defective materials or a failure to comply with the structural performance requirements of the National Construction Code and this inhibits on your ability to use the building for its intended purpose, or results in the destruction of the building or any part of it or there is a threat of collapse of the building or any part of the building.
However, a major defect can only be rectified if it occurs in the following ‘elements’:
- Load bearing components that are essential to the stability of the building (for example, foundations, floors and beams);
- A fire safety system;
These changes apply to any legal proceedings for defects under the Act against a builder or developer commenced after 15 January 2015. These changes apply to all Home Building contracts going forward.
If you notice anydefects in works that are currently being completed at your home or your home has been completed within the last 12-24 months, we recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. It is crucial that legal advice is obtained prior to the 24 month period expiring in order to ensure that you have your defects resolved.