The Minister for Fair Trading this morning announced that the Home Building Amendment Act 2014 is now expected to commence in mid-January 2015. Up until today it was expected to commence on 1 December 2014.
The Minister says consumers’ “protections and rights would remain intact under the new home building reforms” and further, consumers “continue to enjoy all the protections afforded to them by home building laws, including the statutory warranty scheme.” The media release also indicated that “For the first time, the reforms will specifically include fire safety and waterproofing as major elements of the building, which may have access to the six year warranty”.
We believe that consumers’ rights will not be protected because, for instance, in order for fire safety and waterproofing defects to have such access they need to cause or be likely to cause:
– the inability to inhabit or use the building (or part of the building) for its intended purpose; or
– the destruction of the building or any part of the building; or
– a threat of collapse of the building or any part of the building.
The updated Office of Fair Trading website indicates that the majority of the amendments and the Home Building Regulation will commence in January 2015 whereas the media release indicates all of the amendments are expected to start in mid-January (presumably 2015).
Therefore, the uncertainty surrounding the provisional date of 1 December 2014 for the commencement of these amendments has now been replaced with an even more uncertain mid-January 2015 date.
We will keep you informed as developments arise.