Residential Building Works

The New South Wales Government’s latest round of amendments to the Home Building Act 1989 has zeroed in on strata practices in building defects claims. Such claims are now more complicated and require specialist assistance more than ever.




This is a submission from Bannermans Lawyers addressing the questions posed throughout the issues paper using the numbering of those questions for convenience.


It is understood that the Government is seeking to kick-start the economy in relation to residential building works. However, it is not the Home Building Act (HBA) holding back new projects. It is widely accepted that the problems are:


Home warranty insurers in NSW have paid out over $400 million since 2002. Premiums would have been only a fraction of that. It is a small wonder that private insurers want out, and that for the foreseeable future consumer protection for residential building defects will have to be provided by the state government through its public insurance arm SICorp.

In a Nutshell

Owner-builder work is presumed to have been completed within 18 months after an owner-builder permit is issued, or earlier if an occupation certificate is issued within that period. 


Anecdotally, we understand that SiCorp trading as the Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF), the insurer who administers and underwrites insurance under the HBCF (formerly known as Home Owners Warranty Insurance) has tightened controls on the issuing of that insurance.


New strata laws commenced on 30 November 2016. As a part of the change to the strata laws, a building defect bond scheme is due to commence on 1 January 2018.


Under this scheme, developers will be required to lodge a 2% bond with the Secretary of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation for the final contract price of the building.


Non-conforming building products and the issues they raise for both builders and consumers have been at the forefront of media articles at various times over the years with serious claims and safety concerns arising over ‘dodgy’ building materials.



The Building Products (Safety) Act 2017(“Act”) has been passed by the New South Wales government and is to commence on a date to be proclaimed. When it commences, it will give NSW Fair Trading substantial powers to identify and stop the use of potentially unsafe building products. The current focus is on cladding products, but the Act has much broader application.

The new strata building bond and inspection scheme will now commence on 1 January 2018 (the “Scheme”).


In A Nutshell


Following the devastating fire that destroyed the Grenfell Tower in London last week, the topic of aluminium cladding has risen across the globe.