QBCC decision on rectification works causes complications

Recent case reveals the need for timely action

A recent decision by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) is of potential interest to builders, developers, sub-contractors – and homeowners. 

MDL’s client, the builder of a residential property, was the subject of a homeowner’s complaint to the QBCC. The complaint was investigated, and a decision was made by the QBCC to issue our client with a direction to rectify two defects. So far, so straightforward.

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Rectification work uncovers additional information  

As directed, MDL’s client commenced rectification works and completed one of the defects. However, in the process of rectifying the second defect, it became clear that in fact it hadn’t been his work that had caused the defect, but a subsequent contracting licence holder. 

In light of this new information, our client initially applied to the QBCC for an internal review of its decision in respect of this defect. But it was decided by the QBCC that the builder was now out of time to do so.

The importance of making a timely application to QCAT

Unfortunately, our builder client is also out of time to apply to the QCAT. That means not only does he have to apply to reverse the QBCC’s decision, but also within that application, he needs to further apply for leave to obtain an extension of time to file the original application.

If the QBCC had broader discretion to allow extensions of time, none of this process would have been necessary. 

Case demonstrates the need for greater flexibility

The homeowner’s project remains incomplete and the client’s claim for both the practical completion stage and final stages of the contract remain unpaid. 

If you have questions about your rectification obligations to the QBCC, contact McCarthy Durie Lawyers on 3370 5100 or fill out the contact form here.