It is important for consumers to ascertain when the An agreement that the law will enforce. requires the works to be concluded and compare that to when the works are actually completed by the builder. Consumers should carefully review their contracts to ascertain what stage and quality the builder must achieve for the works to be concluded.
In some contracts the finish date is described as ‘practical completion’ and it is defined as the stage when works have been substantially completed except for In Victoria, a child or young person under 18. See also infant. defects.
In other contracts the completion of works is determined by the building surveyor issuing an occupancy permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.
Most contracts provide that the works are Treated by the law as if something is the case, even if that is not the reality. For example, children may be deemed to have the same home as their parents, whether they actually live there or not. Or a person may be deemed to have given their consent to something if they hear about it and do not object. Compare rebuttable. complete when the Under the Australian Consumer Law, a person who buys goods or services for less than $40 000 or for personal or home use. assumes occupation of the home. Accordingly, consumers should not hurry to move in, especially in circumstances where a certificate of occupancy has not yet been issued by the building surveyor.
Section 42 of the DBC A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. provides that a builder must not demand final payment until the work has been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications and the consumer receives an occupancy permit or certificate of final completion, issued by the building surveyor.
Consumers should keep a careful record of all claims, documentation and correspondence generated by the building project.
Ensure any trade certificates, warranties, manuals and keys are provided on completion of the work.
Defects liability period
Most contracts provide a period, usually 13 weeks from the completion of the work, during which the consumer can require the builder to return and repair defects. Not all contracts contain such a provision; check your contract and ensure you can require the builder to return and repair defects.
Once consumers assume occupation of their new home, they should list all defects and provide these lists to the builder in accordance with the provisions in the contract. Be wary of assuming occupation in cases where major defects exist. It may be difficult to get the builder’s cooperation after final payment.