Section 7 of the Home Building Act 1989 NSW (‘Act’) requires a written contract for residential building work.

Under the Act a builder or contractor (‘builder’) is not entitled to damages or to enforce any other remedy in respect of a breach of contract committed by the homeowner including a claim for quantum meruit, s.94(1), and any agreements between the parties to perform works on the property are unenforceable by the builder, s.10(1)(b).

If you’re a builder who failed to enter into a written contract for residential building work over $20,000 and as a result those building works are uninsured, you may still make a claim for reasonable remuneration and/or reasonable sum of work done and materials provided on the basis of:

  1. Quantum meruit;
  2. Quantum valebat;
  3. Unjust enrichment; and
  4. Restitution.

The principle of unjust enrichment, for which an order for restitution may be made, refers to circumstances where there is an enrichment or benefit obtained at a builder’s expense, in circumstances which make it unjust that a homeowner should retain the enrichment or benefit, and no defence is applicable or available.

Don’t despair if you’re a builder in breach of the Home Building Act and faced with unpaid work and/or for materials by homeowner. We can help turn uninsured work into insured work and recover fair and just compensation for your work and materials.

Ferrer Lawyers always recommend that builders contact our construction law specialists to ensure full legal compliance. Our trusted team and independent experts are highly respected who will protect your rights and interests.

Take the first step to get paid by calling (02) 8823 3588 or email us with your enquiry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information, guidance or assistance.