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Domestic Building Disputes

Domestic building industry disputes & VCAT

Usually there’s a claim of building defects, or a debt owed to the builder or subcontractor, or abandoning the building works or a combination of these. Usually there’s a claim of building defects, or a debt owed to the builder or subcontractor, or abandoning the building works or a combination of these.

There are clear rights and obligations of owner and builder in the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995

There are clear contract based rights and obligations in the standard form building contracts drafted by the MBA or HIA. Sometimes builders don’t use these standard form contracts or they use a cost plus contract: this can become a lawyers picnic in the case of dispute!

Occasionally one of the professional consultants is at fault eg the soil tester, engineer, architect or draftsperson has made a mistake. The consultants owe a duty of care and are usually bound by contract to perform to the standard one would expect of a reasonably competent consultant in their profession.

Negligence and breach of contract claims are the standard claims at VCAT in the building list.

Often more than 1 party is at fault or has contributed to the defect

This invokes the principle of proportionate liability from the Wrongs Act 1958. We are very experienced in this area.

Usually claims settle at mediation. Occasionally they go to hearing. Just Law acts on the instructions of their clients at all times and makes every effort to resolve cases at mediation to the satisfaction of the client. But if you have a poor case we will tell you plainly!

If the case goes to hearing Just Law will co-ordinate and instruct all necessary experts who we choose for their experience and expertise and high quality analysis and evidence. James Gray does all his own advocacy, so you don’t have to pay 2 lawyers at a hearing!

If the case goes to hearing Just Law will co-ordinate and instruct all necessary experts who we choose for their experience and expertise and high quality analysis and evidence. James Gray does all his own advocacy, so you don’t have to pay 2 lawyers at a hearing!