Commercial Litigation - Domestic Building Law

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Contact: Kathryn Finemore

Richmond and Bennison has an envied reputation for expertise in dealing with domestic building contract disputes and warranty insurance claims.

Our domestic building team is available to advise owners, builders and associated professionals in all matters pertaining to domestic building disputes and home warranty insurance claims.

With a sharp focus on the resolution of disputes and avoiding drawn out, time consuming, expensive litigation, we will achieve pragmatic and cost effective outcomes.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) deals almost exclusively with domestic building and home warranty insurance disputes. We have represented insurers, builders and owners at VCAT since the establishment of VCAT in 1998.

The rights and obligations of owners and builders when entering domestic building contracts are largely regulated by the provisions of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995. Knowledge of the Domestic Building Contracts Act and the ancillary regulations is essential when assessing the rights of owners and builders who have fallen into dispute.

The requirement for and the parameters of home warranty insurance are defined by Victorian Government Ministerial Order made pursuant to the provisions of the Building Act 1993. Home warranty policies require that the builder be “dead, disappeared or insolvent” before a warranty claim will be accepted. In addition for policies issued from 1 July 2015, owners will be able to make a claim if the builder has failed to comply with a Tribunal or Court Order after 28 days.

There are limitations on warranty insurance coverage for defective building works and incomplete works. A knowledge of the mandatory and allowable requirements of home warranty insurance as prescribed by the Ministerial Order is essential to dealing with any disputes with home warranty insurers.

In multi unit developments, special further requirements are applicable when dealing with defective building works in the common property owned by Owners’ Corporations.

For more information please contact our lawyers below.


Kathryn Finemore 
Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation
Phone: (03) 9670 0488