Building Disputes

Building disputes often occur because of inadequate plans and documents, poor workmanship, poor communication, time over-runs or disputes over variations and payments. Addressing the issues as soon as they occur may prevent them escalating into a major dispute. Resolving initial issues in a job may in the process reveal other potential issues which need to be resolved for a project to be successfully concluded. In some cases there is no alternative than to take action in a court or tribunal where an expert building report will be needed.

We offer the following services.

Building Reports

(i) Short building report

A short building report will give a general report on the defects or other problems involved in a dispute, without going into minute detail about each issue. Often this type of report is enough to help resolve a dispute between parties without any other outside help.

(ii) Detailed building report.

A detailed building report is prepared in a format that willl be accepted by a court or a building tribunal.

Recent court decisions mean that an expert building report will only be acceptable in a court if the opinion evidence in the report is formed in relation to the physical facts and contractual context of the actual issues. The report has to reveal the factual and intellectual basis to all opinions expressed. It is inadequate and simply not acceptable to state opinions on the basis of un-stated assumptions or generalisations .

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Mediation is a confidential process where a mediator assists the disputants to negotiate and reach a decision about their dispute.

The mediator cannot impose a decision upon the parties. However the mediator is able to assist the parties explore the issues in depth and reach the best possible joint decisions that the circumstances allow.

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Arbitration is a formal dispute resolution process governed by the Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 NSW in which two or more parties refer their dispute to an arbitrator for determination. The result of the arbitration, known as the Award, is enforceable in the same manner as a Court judgment.

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Adjudication of building payment disputes.

The NSW Government has adopted legislation, the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999, to ensure regular and prompt payment for work done under contracts in the construction industry.

Under this law claimants who have provided work, goods or services can force the respondent to make payment on account. The scheme has been set up to provide speedy and inexpensive management of disputed claims.

The process used is "adjudication" and is designed to maintain progress payments under dispute. Claimants who have a dispute over payment can lodge an adjudication application with an Adjudicator. The Adjudicator is a person agreed between the parties to determine a payment dispute.

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