Project Home Builders, House and Land Package Builders, and Non Payers

Within the last 4 months I have seen what can only be described as consistent breaches of home construction on a large scale. On average each home I’ve looked at had some 15 major structural and installation defects and 20-30 minor defects.

The companies that built these build absolute rubbish and that is being polite. This is my blog on my website – I can say that. They hold the purchaser to ransom with contracts that have unfair (and possibly illegal) clauses inserted into them which are annexures known as the Schedules which accompany HIA contracts. Some builders even have their own contract without an HIA contract to legitimise it. No one seems to utilise the Fair-Trading Contracts which protect the consumers rights more thoroughly.

People who purchase these packages and homes are mostly first-time home buyers and financially encumbered. They have no understanding of the construction processes and are most vulnerable to companies who act like vultures, deceiving them and always having the upper hand due to the misuse of annexures and schedules.

One report I completed on a home in Jannali was 450 pages long. The house was built by on a well known home builder. The house was 150 days overdue from completion and the home displayed a total disregard for good and compliant building practises. In July 2018 it was still only three quarters completed and yet this company had taken the Lock Up payment despite their being no garage door and no lock on the door from the garage to the home. The contract schedules were absolutely outrageous to the point that the owners of the house land had absolutely no rights but the builder had all of his.

This well known home builder very cleverly only ever rang the owners and told them it was hard to get good tradespeople due to the construction industry being so busy which is why it was delayed, yet the work undertaken to date also clearly showed that the tradespeople that they did supply were not professional or aware of the core basics and understanding of that trade. No email trail was ever left.

Site Supervisors are supposed to hold a Certificate IV at least which equates to a Builders Licence or employed supervisor however most of them do not and the building companies even rotate them so no one sees the project through to completion. Who they use is a mystery, but the Building industry Licensing Act stipulates that only a qualified builder or supervisor can manage all the tradespeople. Outside of this only a carpenter can manage another carpenter and a tiler manage another tiler etc. They are also supposed to carry out their trade in a professional and workman like manner. Nothing would lead me to believe in what I have seen that this is the case.

Barbara and Ronald Thomas of 34 Wattle Street, Jannali after receiving the bad news about their new home which I recommended for demolition back to the Waffle Slab even decided to not pay me for my report because the overwhelming evidence all supported by the NCC and Australian Standards was too much to bear. These people and the other person who I have dealt with in situations as noted above all have the same modus operandi where they cannot afford the cost of a proper report or call out inspection.

I had a signed fee schedule and contract with these disgusting individuals and I will chase them for payment until either they or I drop dead.

If you sign a contract with these types of builders without getting proper legal advice then you are in a lot of trouble. Please seek legal advice before even entertaining the thought of engaging these types of builder and saving me from wasting my time and not getting paid.

These well known home builders are still advertising and taking on new projects.

One customer who rang the other day had a home some 2 years behind schedule with no Liquidated Damages Clause inserted for late completion. I did not ask the builders name because I just do not want anything to do with these types of projects. They could not even afford the call out fee.

The State Government is to blame for this debacle and I am sure that they are very aware of it, but without these dodgy builders the new homes would not get built. What we are left with is that ‘near enough is good enough’. The problem is that 4-5 years down the track the defects start to come to life. By then it’s too late because the State Government also sold out the consumers rights in February 2012 making the Home Builders Compensation Fund Insurance (HBCF) 6 years structural and 2 years aesthetic from 7 years for everything prior to February 2012.

The aesthetic defects start first after 2-3 years the structural about 6-7 years so your insurance is not really worth anything which is exactly what the deal was with the State Government and the insurer. They don’t have to pay out or very rarely.