Making a claim against the QBCC

31 August 2022

We recently reported on the impact that QBCC delays were having on body corporate building defects claims.

Following that article – which you can read here – we received a number of enquiries asking us to clarify the types of claims that can be escalated to the QBCC.

In short, there are two types of QBCC claims that can be brought for defects:

  1. defective works complaints; and
  2. Home Warranty Scheme claims (for defective works).

While both types of claim relate to defective works carried out by a builder or contractor, the claim processes are very different. In our latest article we discuss the two types of claims.

Item Defective works complaint Home Warranty Scheme Claim  
Who can access Consumers, residential owners and occupiers in Queensland An insurance scheme that applies to all residential constructions (for homes, townhouses, duplexes, and multiple-unit dwellings up to 3 storeys above a car park). The insurance premium is paid as part of the contract price, and the insurance remains with the property (not the person that funded the construction).
QBCC authority QBCC are limited to issuing directions to rectify, requiring the builder rectify the defective works.

If the builder is not licensed at the time of the direction, the direction can be issued to require the builder to engage a licensed person to carry out the works.

QBCC will pay up to $200,000 for the repair of the defective works (or up to $300,000 if additional cover has been taken out)

QBCC will assess the claim and will often engage a building consultant to manage the works.

Time limit (structural) Must be brought within 12 months of noticing the defect (and 6.5 years from completion of the works). Must be brought within 3 months of noticing the defects (and 6.5 years from either the date the premium is paid, the construction contract is signed or when the works commenced).
Time limit (non-structural) 12 months from completion of the works. Defect must be noticed within 6 months of completion of the works and claim must be lodged within 7 months from completion of the works.

While it is difficult to predict the time to process both claims (from lodgement to conclusion) our experience is that Home Warranty Scheme claims are being addressed much quicker than a standard building defect works complaint.

Mahoneys has a team of experienced construction lawyers who have developed a detailed understanding of, and expertise in, body corporate law. This gives us the capability to advise bodies corporate on all their building defects needs, including:

  • the body corporate’s obligation to identify and rectify defects;
  • what documents the developer is legally required to hand over;
  • obtaining and verifying the construction documents required by the body corporate;
  • coordinating building defect reviews; and
  • taking action against the builder and/or the QBCC.

Feel free to contact our dedicated body corporate team if you need assistance with a body corporate building defect.