Defects…All Too Common

As a home owner, one of the most stressful things after a new build or renovation is dealing with the occurrence of defects. A recent audit of 212 buildings in three states found more than half of high-rise blocks have at least one defect with building fabric and cladding issues topping the list. New South Wales buildings are by far the worst with 97% having more than one fault, followed by Victoria on 74% and Queensland on 71%.

Considering the recent tragic loss of lives and property at London’s Grenfell Tower, Melbourne’s Lacrosse Apartment Tower and our own disasters at Opal and Mascot Towers, are you aware of your legal rights and builders’ obligations when engaging a contractor to undertake residential building works?

Claims Under A Contract

We will ensure builders rectify defects or provide compensation under the defects liability provisions (usually between 12 – 24 months or maybe less) within your contract. However, there are periods by law which a builder cannot avoid in addition to your rights under a building contract. You have 6 years for major defects or 2 years for all other defects. You may be entitled to a 6 month extension if a defect becomes apparent during the last 6 months of that period.

Claims Outside A Contract

There are other actions available to a home owner facing defects in their building such as claims for negligence and claims for misleading and deceptive conduct. There is a 6 year time limit for bringing these types of claims from the date you become aware of the defect. Contact us on what this means for you as no case is the same.

Defending Claims

We provide builders, contractors and construction professionals with advice on liability and defend claims using statutory and common law defences to allegations of defective works or services including positive conduct, estoppel, waiver and acquiesce.

Who Is Responsible?

There are a range of entities involved in the building of a house. When pursuing compensation it is vital that owners pursue the right entity or entities taking into consideration that builders and developers are not the only one’s involved in the process of building construction. One needs to consider subcontractors, local councils, private certifiers, designers, architects and suppliers of building materials.


If you are in the unfortunate position of having to deal with building defects, you are not alone. We assist you in identifying the relevant provisions in your contract or at law regarding defects and may engage an expert(s) from our panel to prepare a detailed report confirming the entity or entities at fault and responsible. Our experts regularly appear before all courts and tribunals.

Ferrer Lawyers will ensure a rapid and cost effective solution giving you the support you need to amicably resolve all your building defects.

Ferrer Lawyers always recommend that you obtain legal advice. To connect with our experts regarding your building dispute, claim or a related area call (02) 8823 3588 or (02) 4707 7719 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.

We win cases like yours and help you get the outcome you want.

Sydney +61 2 8823 3588 Penrith +61 2 4707 7719