New regulations to prevent building defects and boost confidence in NSW

NSW Parliament has passed two important Bills that look to reinstate consumer confidence when it comes to the construction industry and managing defects. NSW had both the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2020 and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Bill 2020 pass.

The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2020 will come into effect as of 1 July 2021. While the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Bill 2020 will come into effect as of 1 September 2020.
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NSW introduces new legislation to restore faith in the building and construction sector.

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What does this mean for strata schemes and property owners?

The new Bills will allow the Secretary of the NSW Department of Customer Service to order the correction of ‘serious defects’ in residential apartment buildings.

The Bills provide power to the government to order developers to rectify and fix building works that have been deemed likely cause defects. The new intervention powers will apply to building works for up to 10 years after an occupation certificate is issued.

What’s more, the government will also be able to make sure defects are fixed prior to occupants moving in or taking possession of their property by issuing a prohibition order to delay the occupation certificate.

The Bills define a serious defect as:

  • A failure to comply with performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia
  • Defects that are likely to prohibit occupants moving in, living in, or using the building for its intended purpose
  • Using prohibited building products, i.e. cladding products that have been banned on the Australian market.

Under terms of the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Bill 2020, the Building Commissioner, David Chandler, will require selected developers to inform him six months ahead of their planned completion date and undergo monthly inspections by specific architects, engineers and builders.

 

To keep up-to-date with our legislation updates, visit our NSW legislation page.