We do have in place a Building Commission that has powers to deal with disputes about poor workmanship by Builders but in the process, this can be very stressful, very expensive and not always deliver the just outcome.
A few months back, undertaking a course with the Building Commission, the statistics were that last year alone, the office handled 702 complaints with only two field officers to process these complaints. And the tough news is if the complaints are not submitted in the proper format, your complaint is dismissed. The Building Commission also has the role to investigate the conduct of registered Builders and Industry providers and sitting over the Building Commission is SAT, a tribunal if the investigated matter warrants further review or an owner is aggrieved by the decision from the Building Commission. Yes this means time, loads of stress and money!
Unfortunately for several owners, here in Perth, they were caught in a debacle of a Builder going into liquidation and as it has come to light, very substandard work. I am not really about “name and shame” but this Builder comes with a serious warning. Do not entertain signing a contract with Saad Soliman!
Unfortunately, the outcome for these owners was that Mr Soliman is allowed to trade again with a slap on the wrist of a $5000 fine. Many of his clients desperately tried to expose their financial dilemma through Today Tonight , however, in the end they have incurred serious financial losses. This is not good for the industry nor a party wanting to build a house.
Further investigation revealed that the house did not meet the energy rating requirements specified and in fact was non compliant. And the only way to achieve this was substantial upgrades to glazing and insulation. The financial implication has been enormous.
One deplorable expensive mess!
92 – that is the number of reviews currently on the web site Product Reviews for Perth Builders today.
And I have to say about 75% of them paint a rather gloomy picture of lengthy delays,
poor workmanship and sheer frustration about warranty issues. This is not a good outcome for an owner wanting to move in or tenant out the house nor is it good for
the Building Industry.
Sadly, I have seen many a relationship break up due the financial stress of building.
Why is this so? It goes likes this “caveat emptor” buyer beware.
The Housing Industry bodies, the Housing Industry Association and the
Master Builders Association look after the interests of their Builders.
Of course they do! Builders are in the business to make profit and that is the fact!
That building contract is a pretty powerful legal document and requires a lot of respect.
You need to understand all the terms and conditions of your building contract before signing. No hidden surprises to the terms of progress payments and the amount a
builder can charge for variations. That variation fee can be very expensive in the final wash up. I will cover how all that works in a later article.
One of the concerns I come across with owners is the tricky one of progress payments.
As I said before, Builders are in business to make profits so they can set the payments
to maximise their cash flows. It is so important you understand these schedules set
out in the contract. The builder can only submit a claim when the work has genuinely been carried out. i.e. you pay for what has been done. It is tough times out there in
the building world and builders will forward a progress claim sometimes before all the work has been done in respect to that claim. And yes this leads to conflict as the claim comes with a legal requirement for payment in 10 days.
You know there is a Home Building Contracts Act that allows you or an authorised person acting on your behalf to inspect works to ensure that all works have been genuinely
carried out for that claim.
Building a house is a huge investment so that is why I advocate you seek out advice before and through the construction. It is a wise investment and it will avoid a lot of heartache, financial costs and stress.
Sometimes I feel people put more energy into buying a car than investing in the protection of their build.
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