Residential Construction Disputes

Recent changes in Victorian construction law require parties to take a number of steps to resolve domestic building disputes.

Who do the new laws apply to?

The new laws apply to home owners, builders, sub-contractors, building practitioners and architects.

What type of building works do the new laws apply to?

The new laws apply to domestic building works undertaken in Victoria.

What steps must a party take?



A party can apply to VCAT without a DBDRV certificate of conciliation if the party requires an injunction to immediately stop the other party from doing something or to make the other party do something immediately.

What are the time limits?

Generally, for a home owner to bring a claim against a builder, the building work that is the subject of the dispute cannot be more than 10 years old.

What if I am running out of time?

You should act promptly.

Generally, a home owner will need to bring an application in VCAT before the expiration of 10 years from the date of the relevant occupancy certificate was issued.  If you do not, you are likely to lose your right to bring a claim against your builder.

If you are approaching that 10 year deadline, you should urgently bring an application to DBDRV and bring the deadline to DBDRV’s attention.  In our experience, in these circumstances, DBDRV promptly issues certificates to facilitate a party bringing VCAT proceedings before the 10 year deadline.

Should I seek legal advice?

It is not necessary to retain a lawyer to take any of the above steps.  However, it is often helpful to obtain advice early on in a dispute.  Whether or not you should seek assistance from a lawyer will depend on a number of factors including the nature, complexity and value of the dispute.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or require any assistance.

Terry Zakis
Principal Lawyer

P 03 9944 0848
E terry.zakis@tzlawyers.com.au