Building and Construction

VCAT hears and decides cases about commercial and domestic building disputes.

The dispute may be between a property owner, builder, sub-contractor, architect, warranty insurer, engineer or other building practitioner – or any combination of them.

There is no limit on the amount of money that can be claimed.

Claims for defective building works must be made within 10 years of the date of the occupancy certificate, or – where there is no occupancy certificate – 10 years from the date of issue of the certificate of final inspection.

If you need to urgently stop a party from doing something or make a party do something then you can apply for an injunction.

Cases VCAT can hear

  • applications for an injunction
  • claims about domestic building works – that is, work to erect, construct, renovate, improve, alter or repair a home. A home is any residential premises, including any part of a commercial building that is used as a residential premises. If a home owner is one of the parties to the dispute, in most cases you must first refer your dispute to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) but there are exceptions
  • applications from owner-builders for an exemption from the requirement to provide warranty insurance when selling a home
  • claims where the dispute was referred to Building Advice and Conciliation Victoria before 26 April 2017
  • domestic building disputes that DBDRV has certified as not resolved or not suitable for conciliation
  • when an owner or builder has ended a contract as part of a DBDRV process
  • reviews of warranty insurer decisions
  • reviews of some decisions made as part of a DBDRV process
  • applications by licensed plumbers to cancel a plumbing rectification notice or a plumbing order
  • claims about commercial building works.