Determining the accountability for building defects in Victoria
Constructing a building is a complex affair. There are many different tradespeople and professionals involved in the construction process, and some of these might even have overlapping tasks. As a result, it becomes challenging to find out which of these can be held responsible in the event of any defect.
Every state has different regulatory laws that seek to protect residents from any such events, and regulatory laws to address building defects in Victoria differ from those in NSW or QLD. We have put together this page to make it easier for you to understand who can be held accountable in such cases.
But first, let us understand what can be construed as a defect.
The term ‘building defects’ is often open to multiple interpretations, and it would be good to have a clear understanding of what they really are, right at the onset. As per the Australian Glossary of Building Terms, a building defect can be defined as any fault or deviation from the intended condition of the material, the assembly or components in the structure. This can span everything from minor defects like cosmetic imperfections, to major defects like damaged roofing, electrical or plumbing faults, material faults like timber rots to structural faults like cracks.
This could either be due to an oversight on behalf of the contractor / sub contractor, developer, architect, engineer or surveyor involved. There could also be multiple different people accountable for the defect.