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  • Writer's pictureArida Lawyers

Common Building And Construction Law Disputes

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

1. Changes from the original plan

It is not uncommon for the buyer to feel that the construction company or building firm have strayed from the original brief, either by providing an incomplete or an excessive build, or by constructing in a manner that is far from what was originally suggested, for example in the advertising brochures.

In this instance, it is important to ask: how rigorously was the precise build stipulated on paper and what provisions were made for deviations from the plan within the contract? Those already committed to a contract will often find when they engage legal services that there are still opportunities for a fair outcome, either within – or above and beyond – the contract itself.

2. Building delays

Building delays are a trending issue in building and construction law, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating many delays in supply and hindering the ability to build. This is further compounded by the well-known timber shortage and the growing demand for new houses, which has sent the industry into overdrive.

It is common for buyers feel aggrieved that a building is not being completed in time, throwing off their life plans. Similarly, builders may feel aggrieved that through no fault of their own there has been a delay. If you are a buyer who wants out of a contract or to investigate ways of seeking compensation or a hastened build, or a builder defending a delay, the team at Arida Lawyers can represent your case.

3. Payment disputes

Those purchasing houses may have been overcharged, or they may be in a position where they feel the builder is trying to extract an unfair payment from them. Alternatively, builders and construction companies may sometimes find that buyers, be they residential or commercial clients, refuse to pay after the work is done.

4. A faulty or poorly designed build

A faulty build can be awkward to deal with, because often it is realised when the builder has already completed the job, seemingly leaving the buyer without recompense. Fortunately, in many states, there may be an enforceable maintenance period during which the builder is responsible to fix any issues. If this period has elapsed and faults start to emerge, things become more complex. Often the legal argument may or may not move outside of contract law to embrace broader Australian law, such as consumer law.

How to resolve building and construction disputes

It may be best to first raise your concerns with the builder or to explain your case to the client directly. However, the fact you are reading this means you have probably already tried that avenue. There is also the risk that you will put a foot wrong, which may be costly later in the legal process.

We advise that you seek out legal services to support you to resolve your building dispute in a fair and reasonable manner.

At Arida Lawyers, we can review, draft and negotiate contracts, mediate disputes, advise on your rights, help you to manage risk, and fight for an outcome that is fair using all of the expertise at our disposal.

This article provides general information relevant to our expert services. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you are seeking legal advice, you should contact us for a free initial consultation.

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