Commencing 16th January 2015, a new set of home building laws come into effect.
What is in store for people looking to get building work done from 2015….
There are two main changes that apply to the roof repair and replacement industry.
- Definition of major defects which qualify for the 6 year HOME Owners warranty
- Removal of licence requirements for jobs under $5000
Item 1: Defects in waterproofing of a structural element (like a roof) is now classed as a major defect. Minor defects are only covered by a 2 year warranty.
This is a bit hard to find on the fair trading web page but you can get more details by going into the Legislation  Section 18E (3) and (4)
In theory, if you have just had a new house built and the roof leaks within the first 6 years, then you have a valid claim against the builder and they are supposed to rectify the defect.
In reality, it is very difficult to chase a dodgy builder to fix a roof leak even in the first year. In my experience, homeowners would rather get a roof expert to fix the leak over the pain of chasing the builder….
So, whilst the new law helps define the area of responsibilities, it does little to help the poor home owner who has been caught out.
Item 2: Moving the threshold for unlicensed general building work to $5000.
One school of thought is that this will open the doors for every Tom Dick and Harry to carry out a lot more work without the regulation of a licence. This also has the same effect as making the job of selecting a good tradesperson that much harder for a home owner.
Our average value for roof repair and replacement work over the past years is $3500. This means that we can now do most of our work without a licence – and so can just about anyone else..
So will more home owners be caught out by this new law?
I think so. There may be more services advertised in the local papers and the yellow pages without a license number and people using these avenues for finding a good tradesperson may have a hard time getting one…
So what is the solution for home owners to traverse the minefield created by this new law?
Consumer protection laws have not worked too well in the past and they have less relevance in the future.
In a more connected world, individuals have a lot more power against bad operators. Social media is giving power back to consumers. Word can get out much more readily and the smarter consumers are doing their own research first before they decide on their preferred service provider.
Anyone can leverage the power of Google to do basic research on just about anything on this planet. I urge you to use this service if you want to buy back your purchasing power and prevent heartaches in the building industry minefield…