Examples of resolved building disputes

Things do not always go to plan when you are building, renovating, or landscaping. It might be useful to look at the outcomes of building disputes that have been through the resolution process in Queensland in the last few years if you find yourself in a dispute with someone you hired to do building work on or for your property.

Reviewing the outcomes of past disputes that are similar to you own situation might help you to resolve the issue privately with the person you hired. See examples of QCAT decisions about building disputes after 1 December 2009.

Common types of building disputes

Building disputes can easily arise if you and someone you hired to do a job on your property have a miscommunication, have different expectations of the standard of the completed work, or do not plan properly for things that might happen along the way. For example, building disputes can relate to:

  • the quality of the finished building work
  • delays in the building work
  • bad contracts, plans and documents
  • poor communication
  • neglect
  • trespassing
  • inclusions and variations
  • council approvals
  • payments
  • a lack of knowledge of building practices.

Building disputes decided by QCAT

If building disputes cannot be resolved privately, or with the help of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, they will often go to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a final decision.

QCAT can only make decisions on building disputes about:

  • the erection or construction of a building or house
  • the renovation, alteration, extension, improvement or repair of a building or house
  • a building’s or house’s services—such as electrical work, water supply, sewerage or drainage
  • the demolition, removal or location of a building or house
  • any building work on a property—including landscaping work and the construction of swimming pools, retraining walls or structures, and driveways
  • the preparation of plans and specifications, or bills of quantity about a building or house
  • the inspection of a finished building or house.

You can read the QCAT decisions on past building disputes.

The decision reports will tell you:

  • what the building dispute was about
  • what claims each person made to QCAT
  • QCAT’s final assessment.

Laws that cover building disputes

If you can’t find any past disputes that are similar to your own situation, you can try looking at legislation that covers building disputes.

Acts that cover domestic and commercial building disputes include:

  • Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000
  • Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991
  • Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009.

Further information