We often get asked the question by clients as to what happens if they discover further defects in their new property after moving in. Sometimes defects are not evident at the time of inspection for various reasons. We would like to answer by making this statement:
“The builder is liable to fix all defects that do not comply with the QBCC Standards & Tolerances Guide & relevant standards/installation guides within the maintenance period. This includes defects identified by a professional inspector or the client at any time within the maintenance period.”
Once all contractual items are completed and are deemed fit for use, it is meets the definition of Practical Completion. At this point outstanding defects need not delay settlement. However, it is in the clients best interest to discuss the outstanding items and make an agreement on which ones they require to be rectified and include a time frame for them to be rectified. An inspectors job is to identify items not meeting the standards, hence, all items on the list can be enforced. If there is a disagreement with the builder in terms of rectifying defects, a complaint can be lodged with the QBCC.
We often conduct 2 inspections on a new building, it is not uncommon for new defects to be added during a second inspection. Sometimes items have not been rectified satisfactorily or new defects are observed during the second inspection. It is important to note, having a professional inspection does not waive the defect maintenance period.