Inspecting careless building work

Introduction In 1995, the High Court upheld a claim in negligence by Mrs Maloney against Mr Bryan, the builder of her home, in relation to inadequate foundations.[1] A remarkable aspect of the case was Mr Bryan had never met Mrs Maloney, who had purchased her home in 1986 from the Quittendens, who had in turn […]

Rectifying a Mistake

Introduction A written contract is almost always the document which decides the rights and obligations of the parties in any construction dispute.  Occasionally, one of the parties will confidently assert, even though the contract includes a particular term, the parties mistakenly agreed a different bargain.  The District Court recently considered this issue in Contek v […]

Lost Your Marble(s)

Introduction Disputes as to residential building work are often emotional affairs, with both parties holding strong views.  Builders often take an optimistic view of their work. Homeowners are often personally invested in the dream of having their home “just so”.  This mix of competing tensions provides fertile ground for disputes.  Occasionally, a dispute arising over […]

$50m for an unfair contract

This Update is a reminder as to recent changes to the legislation relating to unfair contracts. The changes mean that parties who put forward or try to rely on unfair terms in contracts can be liable for severe financial penalties.   The changes came into force on 9 November 2023 via the Treasury Laws Amendment […]

Lying to get paid quickly

Introduction A recent decision in the NSW Supreme Court considers whether false statutory declarations provided by a subcontractor in support of a Payment Claim enable the head contractor to avoid liability to make a progress payment it has promised to pay. The case involved a Payment Claim made under the Building and Construction Industry Security […]

Sell but don’t tell

Introduction  In 2017, the McEntee family purchased 14 Langbein Avenue, Woodside, SA (“#14”) from Ms Rosewell and Mr Kloostermann (“the Original Owners”).  Soon after settlement, Mr McEntee was visited by Mr Kornelissen, his new neighbour at 16 Langbein Avenue (“#16”).  Mr Kornelissen informed Mr McEntee that the fence between #14 and #16 was not located […]