Building and construction disputes occur often. When a dispute arises, it is important that proper processes are in place so that all parties can follow the processes to ensure that the dispute can be resolved amicably, quickly and without incurring excessive costs.
It is common that multiple parties are involved in a building and construction dispute given the requirement for multiple trades and services to complete a building. Such parties may include owners, contractors (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc), surveyors, architects and engineers, manufacturers and suppliers.
Examples of Disputes
Common examples of building and construction disputes that can arise include:
- The erection or construction of a building;
- The renovation, extension, or alteration of a building;
- The repair of a building;
- Defective or poor workmanship;
- The provision of services (for example, electrical, water supply, sewerage or drainage);
- The demolition or removal of a building;
- Building inspection or reports;
- Site work including swimming pools, fences, driveways or landscaping;
- Rectification work;
- Insurance; and
- Failure to make payment of invoices (and the domino effect that arises)
Resolving a Dispute
It is crucial that as soon as an issue or problem with the building arises, steps are taken to resolve the issue. Early detection of an issue is a costs-saving measure and omitting to address the issue when it arises could lead to a larger dispute than it should be.
Commercial building and construction disputes can incur significant costs, and accordingly, it is strongly recommended that alternative dispute resolution is utilised. This includes mediation, negotiation between parties and/or their solicitors, expert determination and/or arbitration).
In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute through other mechanisms, a party may consider initiating proceedings at Court.
Speak with one of our experienced lawyers to find out where you stand.