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When do you need to get a lawyer involved in a building or construction issue?

Article by: Marlon Camacho – Commercial Litigation Lawyer – RMO Law

The housing crisis has posed a major challenge for Australia in recent times. One strategy implemented to address this problem, involves ramping up the construction of new homes. However, our observations indicate that in the past few years, this surge in productivity has led to the rapid and often low-quality construction of many homes. Consequently, this has significantly contributed to an escalation in disputes between homeowners and builders.

Although engaging in a building dispute with a major builder may seem intimidating, the fact remains that numerous individuals possess solid legal justification to pursue compensation or demand that the builder rectify specific defects in the property.

Construction disputes versus building disputes

Disagreements within the construction industry, whether termed as building or construction disputes, arise when a party in a construction contract fails to fulfill their legal or contractual responsibilities. These conflicts can span from problems in residential construction to more extensive challenges in construction projects. It is crucial to discern the difference:

  • Construction Disputes – These conflicts are more extensive and can involve large-scale projects beyond residential properties. They may entail disputes related to commercial properties, infrastructure projects, or other significant construction ventures. The intricacies in these disputes often arise from larger teams, more complex contracts, or the sheer magnitude of the project.
  • Building Disputes – Primarily regard residential properties like homes or apartments. These disputes may encompass issues such as substandard workmanship, delays, or breaches of contract specific to home construction.

Delayed building work

A variation pertains to any modifications made to the scope of work outlined in a construction contract. These changes can involve additions, substitutions, or omissions from the original scope, and it is imperative that all variations be documented in writing.

However, instances arise where builders deviate from the proper procedure. Consequently, when they request additional payment, clients or homeowners may reject such claims. In certain situations, homeowners may have expectations that exceed their budgetary constraints.

As legal professionals with expertise in construction matters, our lawyers are adept at navigating through such scenarios. We meticulously review your construction contract to determine appropriate courses of action for rectifying the situation.

At RMO Law, we have a dedicated team specializing in building disputes ready to address any inquiries related to construction. Moreover, we have successfully represented numerous individuals against major builders, securing favourable outcomes for them.

Breaches of Building Contracts

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the contract. It’s important to note that not every breach automatically grants the right to terminate the contract. Before attempting termination, caution is advised, and seeking legal advice is recommended.

However, in the event of a breach, the innocent party retains the right to claim damages, if damages have been incurred. Building contracts typically include clauses that establish a framework for addressing breaches, distinguishing between minor breaches and substantial breaches.

Building contracts may encompass a variety of breaches, making it essential to obtain qualified legal advice to navigate the specific circumstances. Lawyer can help interpret contractual terms, assess the severity of the breach, and guide the innocent party on the appropriate course of action, whether it involves seeking damages or, in certain cases, terminating the contract.

We can assist you with:

  • claiming your Home Owners Warranty Insurance;
  • payment disputes and variations;
  • a dispute with your builder or sub-contractor;
  • a dispute with your architect;
  • entering a contract to build or renovate;
  • claiming your home owners warranty insurance;
  • retaining wall disputes; and
  • fencing disputes (among others).

Construction is a significant undertaking and disputes that lead to lengthy court proceedings can cause stress and cost so much all to the parties involved. Getting the right legal advice from a lawyer with construction and building experience can make a difference.  

Contact Us

To speak to one of our experienced litigation lawyers, call 1800 957 936, email or submit an enquiry.

We are available to meet with you at any of our local offices (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Beenleigh, Cleveland and Jimboomba) or by telephone or video-conference.

This article is for your information and interest only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and it does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

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