Over the next couple of weeks we will look at the revised laws that apply if you are Building a home or improving your property. We will give you extracts from the home owners guide to the Home Building Contracts Act put together by the Minister of Consumer Affairs and we will analyse and explain the various meanings to make sure all is understood, but lets start at the beginning.
In 1989, the Home Building Industry Enquiry identified a lack of protection for people building new homes and for home-owners having work done on their properties. The Home Building Contracts Act was introduced by the State Government to ensure that the home owner and the person doing the work are both protected against unfair practices. It does this by setting out the minimum requirements for a contract and prohibiting certain arrangements. The Act applies to contracts for home building and associated work valued between $6,000 and $200,000 entered into, on or after April 4, 1992. Examples of where the Home Building Contracts Act might apply include when a builder erects your new home, a swimming pool company installs a pool, your kitchen is renovated or your garden is landscaped. It does not apply to the installation of fittings, such as curtains. Copies of the Home Building Contracts Act can be obtained from the State Government Bookshop at 815 Hay Street, Perth, phone (09) 222 8216, or State Print in Station Street, Wembley, phone (09) 383 8811 .
Whether you’re arranging for a new home to be built, a swimming pool to be installed or your existing home to be renovated, the range of things you need to consider can be confusing.
Should you get a written quote or will an estimate do?. Should you be given a copy of the contract ?. Do you need to take out insurance?. What happens if there are problems ?. The HOME BUILDING CONTRACTS ACT gives you advice for dealing with these things. In addition, it helps you understand your legal rights and responsibilities under the Home Building Contracts Act.
You can employ a variety of workers to do work on your home. Some work will involve builders, some will involve trades people such as carpenters, brick-layers, painters or tilers, some will involve people who operate in a specific field, such as pool installation or landscaping.
For ease of reading, the booklet has used the terms “builder’ and “tradesperson” However, you should note that these are only examples of people doing the work. The information about the Home Building Contracts Act applies to all people contracted by you to do building, renovations or improvements on your home, provided the work is valved between $6000 and $200,000
ORGANISE:- No matter how small or large the job, it’s wise to set up a system for yourself. Make sure you have a safe place for all your important documents, such as copies of contracts and correspondence between you and the tradesperson. Keep records of any important conversations, agreements or decisions, perhaps by recording them in a diary. Then you can be sure to include all of your agreements in your contract. These precautions will be very useful if there is a dispute of some kind, because you will have proof for your point of view.