Proposed Changes to Queensland Domestic Building Contracts

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The Qld Government has released the draft of the Queensland Building & Construction Commission and other Legislation Amendments Bill 2014 which will repeal the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (Qld) (DBC Act).

Domestic Building Work

The act applies to any domestic building work which is defined as:

  • The erection and construction of detached buildings
  • Renovation, alteration, extension, improvement or repair of a home
  • Resiting or removal of a detached dwelling.

The act excludes contracts and agreements between builders and subcontractors, and the construction of multiples dwellings (units, townhouses)

Proposed changes

The Bill introduces a demarcation between building contracts based on a threshold value of the work being performed. This threshold has notQld Residential Building Contract as yet been released.

Two levels (tiers) will be created using this benchmark, with the higher threshold (level 1) subject to less regulation than the lower tier (level 2).

What Is DifferentQld Residential Building Contract

Key differences will revolve around

  • compulsory provisions in the building agreement
  • The statutory cooling off period
  • Deposits
  • Documentation that must be provided to an owner

Provisions in Building Contract

A domestic Building Contract is required to contain a definition of terms used in the contract’. In addition the meaning of terms use in the contract; ‘Contract Price’, ‘Domestic Building Contract’, Domestic Building Work’, ‘Regulated Level 1/level 2 Contract’, ‘Foundations Data, ‘ Home’, ‘Provisional Sum’, …etc. all have to be defined and explained in the contract documentation and provided to the owner.

Documentation

Other certificates dealt with in the regulation relate to certificates of inspections and building certification. It is also a requirement that copies of the foundations data be supplied to the owners once they have paid for it.

Deposits

The payment of deposits in Level 2 Regulated Contracts is still restricted to 5% of the contract Value, but for level 2 contracts, this figure has been increased to 10%. It will be interesting to see what threshold will be applied to level 2 Regulated contracts.

Cooling Off Period.

The cooling off period remains unchanged, at 5 days after receipt of the signed building agreement. An additional proviso is added that the cooling off period does not begin until after the owner has received a copy of the building consumer building guide. It is going to be necessary to supply copies of this guide as part of the contract documentation kit.Qld Building & Condtruction Commission.

Qld Building & Condtruction Commission

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