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FILE IMAGE. Christian M?ller

Builder's $81K Rocky housing dispute claim knocked back

A BUILDER'S claim for $5000 for "stress and suffering" on top of $76,000 disputed in a Rockhampton house build has been knocked back by a civil tribunal.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) handed down a decision on the construction dispute on December 13, over 10 months after the case was heard in Brisbane.

Following the construction of a Rockhampton home, there was a dispute between the home owner and builder.

The dispute was over final payment of $27,000.

The builder made an additional claim of $49,000 relating to a septic tank and garage, as well as $5000 for "stress and suffering".

This was disputed by the home owner, who filed a counter-claim with regard to defective work, stating at the time the demand for final progress claim ($27,000) was made there was defective and uncompleted works.

The woman instructed her solicitors request the work be completed, but the builder refused.

A quote of $56,243 was provided to QCAT with an inspection report on the defects.

In October 2015, the woman filed information about the defective building works, but additional items for legal fees ($855.36), absence from employment ($2754.70), change of locks ($276.80), security system ($1200), title searches ($17) and rent related expenses ($6710).

All additional items, excluding title searches and legal fees, were not allowable expenses as they did not relate to defective work.

With regard to the legal fees, the home owner was awarded $1,412, to be paid by the builder.

The builder was given multiple chances to file his documents and responses, but did not comply.

As a result, QCAT dismissed his initial application on February 3, 2016.

Before any claims regarding defective work could be finalised, items covered by the Home Warrant Scheme had to be identified.

The following items were not covered (although they were found to be defective); timber next to the front door ($97 to repair), marked, cracked and poorly finished driveway ($8400 to repair), exposed light fittings ($189 to repair) and excess paint on the garage floor ($127 to repair).

Other items were included but not quoted; a pop up power point in the kitchen, defective shower door drip strip, and pathway coming away from slab.

The pathway was deemed to be a cosmetic issue only and no damages were ordered to cover it.

The tribunal stated the builder "was required to perform his work in an appropriate and skilful way and with reasonable care and skill. He did not do so in regard to the work which is defective."

The builder was ordered to pay the home owner $8813 within 14 days, plus costs of $1412.

The Morning Bulletin has chosen not to name either party for privacy reasons.



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