Resolve disputes

Building or renovating your home can be challenging, especially when things go wrong. The following advice can help you resolve disputes about building.


Talk to your contractor

Discuss the problems as soon as you become aware of them. Many misunderstandings can be quickly resolved through constructive communication.


Put it in writing

After your conversation, confirm in writing what was agreed to and the completion time. Date it and keep a copy.


Contact Fair Trading

If you and your contractor cannot resolve the dispute, either you or the contractor can formally ask Fair Trading for help, but both parties need to agree to try to resolve the issue first.

The Fair Trading building inspector will help you and your contractor come to an agreement about how to resolve the dispute. The inspector may issue a Rectification Order if there are things that the contractor needs to fix or conclude that the builder is not responsible for the alleged defects.


Lodge a complaint

If you have not been able to resolve a problem with a contractor, you can lodge a complaint.


Check your home building compensation details

The builder or tradesperson is responsible for taking out Home Building Compensation (HBC) cover for any job over $20,000. They need to include the cost of the HBC cover in their contract with you and give you a copy of the HBC cover. You can check the validity of your cover using the HBC Check.



Notify the home building compensation provider

If you become aware of defective or incomplete work on your home, you should immediately notify the HBC cover provider in writing about the nature and circumstances of the loss. It may affect your ability to later make a claim on the scheme if you fail to notify the provider promptly.

Details regarding the claim process are available on the website of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority at