Many residential building disputes relate to substantial sums and involve multiple complex issues relating to defects and informal contract variations.
When an owner occupier of new or renovated residential premises disputes a progress claim from a residential builder the current preferred forum for resolution of the dispute is the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal. However, proceedings in the Tribunal can be protracted and expensive meaning that residential builders will typically experience a significant impact on their cash flow as a result of the dispute in addition to facing ongoing legal costs and Barrister’s fees. In many cases, the experience of being involved in drawn out proceedings in the Tribunal is enough to deter builders from continuing to operate a residential building business.
Residential builders are entitled to apply for independent adjudication of a disputed Payment Claim and obtain an enforceable Determination usually within 21 days of lodging the Adjudication Application.
In addition, and perhaps even more significantly, a builder will accrue a statutory right to payment of an amount claimed in a Payment Claim and will be able to enforce that right through the Courts where a homeowner does not provide a Payment Schedule disputing the amount within the allowed time of service of the Payment Claim.