Reform Finally

After years of rising concern about declining standards of residential property construction and narrowing of options available to strata owners corporations and lot owners in defective buildings, the NSW Government has passed reform legislation, the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (“Act”). This will likely be game changing for owners corporations and lot owners in defective buildings.

The Act commences in stages:

This article deals with the new duty of care. A separate article Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 – Registration and Regulation of Design and Building Practitioners considers the pending registration and regulation regime.

Extension of Duty of Care

Prior to the Act, the common law position established by several High Court cases was that a builder does not owe a duty of care to avoid economic loss to the subsequent owners of the property the builder has worked on.

Under the Act, specified parties owe a duty to current and future owners “to exercise reasonable care to avoid economic loss caused by defects … in or related to a building for which the work is done and arising from the construction work”.

Key features:

Moving forward

The Act suggests the need for at least the following:

Bannermans Lawyers 
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North Sydney NSW 2060