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A Guide to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Brisbane

Only some house-building or renovation projects proceed as planned. Disputes between building owners and builders may occur over payment schedules stated in the domestic building contract, building work performance, and completion delays. The domestic building dispute resolution is time-consuming, expensive, stressful, and all-consuming.  Our building dispute lawyers in Brisbane have many years of expertise in […]

A Guide to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Brisbane

A Guide to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Brisbane

By Aylward Game - May 30, 2024 Dispute Resolution

Only some house-building or renovation projects proceed as planned. Disputes between building owners and builders may occur over payment schedules stated in the domestic building contract, building work performance, and completion delays.

The domestic building dispute resolution is time-consuming, expensive, stressful, and all-consuming. 

Our building dispute lawyers in Brisbane have many years of expertise in dispute resolution law, emphasising risk mitigation and providing our customers with effective legal solutions. While we are equipped to help you in court if necessary, our first goal is to resolve your dispute via alternatives, including negotiation, mediation, adjudication, and arbitration (including, if possible, through the QBCC). This way, we may save time and money by preventing prolonged and expensive litigation.

Comprehending Building Disputes in Brisbane

An argument between construction project workers refers to a building dispute. Consider builders, contractors, suppliers, and real estate owners. Disputes over buildings may occur at any time, from the initial design stages to construction.

Brisbane’s Building Disputes Factors

In Brisbane, the following are some of the most common factors for building disputes:

  1. Inadequate quality, reflected in subpar performance at work
  2. When unexpected occurrences or new requirements alter the scope of work, this is known as a scope modification.
  3. Unforeseen occurrences like delays, inclement weather, or difficulty obtaining access to the site

Role of Building Dispute Lawyers

The rules and regulations in the Brisbane region are particularly well-known to construction dispute lawyers, who have years of expertise managing any building or construction problem. Their primary goal is to represent their clients—homeowners, contractors, or other stakeholders. 

A building and construction lawyer protects his client’s rights and interests in the dispute resolution process. Dispute resolution lawyer offers advice and support, from preliminary discussions and mediation to official court cases when needed. 

In addition to adeptly analysing intricate construction contracts, these construction law experts evaluate the veracity of claims, ensure equity in the building sector, and support clients throughout the complex dispute resolution system.

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Domestic Building Dispute

In Queensland, domestic building projects are heavily regulated, and domestic building disputes are not uncommon.

Getting experienced legal representation when a problem or disagreement emerges during a domestic building project is crucial to put yourself in the best possible position to resolve the issue.

Our Brisbane building dispute lawyers have extensive expertise in mediating and litigating domestic building disputes on behalf of builders, subcontractors, property owners, and suppliers.

To guide you through the dispute process and help you achieve the desired outcomes, Law Force will offer the expertise, skills, and real-life experience required to produce solid, effective strategy and advice and targeted, fast, and reasonable alternatives.


Building disputes in Queensland are governed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 and the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.

Building Dispute Resolution Process 

Building Dispute Resolution Process

When there is an issue with a client

A homeowner or a commercial building owner must inform the other party in writing if they have issues with a builder or contractor. Two weeks after getting written notice, if the problem continues to arise and they still need to be happier with the result, they can file a Complaint Form with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

Depending on the type of problem—such as a payment dispute, a breach of contract, or a building issue—the QBCC may or may not be able to help. To find a just resolution, the QBCC will attempt to assess and discuss the matter with both parties if they can assist. A QBCC Building Inspector may need to visit the location. He may issue a Direction to Rectify if they cannot fix the problem through negotiation.

If you’re unhappy, you can request an internal review of this decision from the Internal Review Unit. On the other hand, you can apply for a review by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Getting legal guidance or support is an excellent plan for going before the tribunal. You will usually have to represent yourself at the tribunal, though a professional can help you prepare.

When the issue arises from a stubbie, builder, or supplier

Conflicts can arise from a variety of other interactions in the construction sector. For instance, between a subcontractor and a building firm, a supplier and a builder, or even between different trades.

The subsequent steps typically occur in the process of dispute resolution when there is a controversy between a supplier, builder, or stubbie:


In negotiations, an honest discussion in which both sides aim to reach a fairly fair conclusion can frequently be an excellent starting point. Depending on the dispute’s seriousness, this can be done alone or with attorneys’ assistance.

An attorney can be helpful in formally establishing the process and recording everything. In addition, it’s usually a good idea to have an expert on your side.


An impartial mediator may be useful in arriving at a fair conclusion regarding the best course of action to address the problem. Once more, this can be done individually or with the help of a lawyer.

A lawyer can assist in formalising the decision into a contract if you’d like it binding.


In this case, a third party assists the parties in coming to a decision. With arbitration, on the other hand, the decision is binding by law.

Charge Over Property

You may be able to ask for the registration of a charge over the property if you have been awarded money through the adjudication procedure and have yet to receive payment by the deadline. You may ask the court to sell the property to recoup the debt if it is unpaid.

Complaint for Unpaid Fees

If a QBCC licensee has failed to pay a debt demanded by a ruling from a tribunal, court, or adjudicator, you can also file a complaint with the QBCC.

Charges for Subcontractors

A subcontractor’s fee enables a subcontractor to forego the contractor and notify the property owner of any unpaid debts. The contractor must have been paid in full, and the job is being completed under your subcontract.


If the principal contractor or homeowner fails to provide a scheduled or decided payment, the contractor has the right to stop working. Provided the prearranged payment was recently received, they must resume work three business days after giving two days’ notice.


In the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act of 2017, the “adjudication” process excludes the building and construction sector and outlines the procedures for securing payment.


Another option is to use traditional litigation procedures to bring your case before the courts and seek justice.

Conflicts between builders, suppliers, or subcontractors are often resolved through the following options:

  • Adjudication
  • Charge over property
  • Money owed complaint
  • Fees for subcontractors
  • Putting off work
  • The judiciary
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How to Deal with a Building Dispute in Queensland

Any construction or development project, including house building, is a major project that can be very costly.

You must invest time and money upfront to avoid any tense disagreements later.

A party to a building contract has multiple options for trying to keep a building dispute at bay. These include items such as:

  • Consult a lawyer before signing the agreement;
  • Investigate the builder and other party thoroughly;
  • maintaining open channels of communication;
  • Make sure the agreements (as well as any modifications) are in writing;
  • Make notes, take pictures, and maintain a journal;
  • Ascertain that each party has reasonable expectations;
  • Before the argument gets out of hand, get professional assistance and 
  • carefully go over all of the relevant information.

Payment Disputes for Building Work

Subcontractors and principal/head contractors in the building industry can settle payment disputes using the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (Qld).

Whether or not a contract calls for progress payments, contractors have the right to subcontractor entitlements under the Act for work completed. Establishing a procedure reduces the need for costly and time-consuming litigation by settling disputes over claims and processing payment claims and replies.

A “project bank account” must be established for specific building contracts, and the Act permits using a statutory charge in favour of a contractor for work completed.

The Act contains the last changes to the security of payments laws. It places strict deadlines and compliance obligations on parties. Non-complying or default parties will face severe repercussions. People working in the construction sector should ensure they are aware of the Act’s provisions and that the proper procedures are in place for handling payment claims and responding to them.

Am I eligible to file a claim for a domestic building dispute?

The right to file a domestic building dispute claim belongs to all parties involved in a building contract.

Homeowners, constructors, architects, surveyors, engineers, and draftspeople may all fall under this category.

Regardless of how you are involved in a construction dispute, you should contact a building dispute lawyer at Aylward Game Solicitors before the problem develops.

Whether you are a homeowner, builder, or someone else involved in the construction process, a building dispute may be a problematic situation that strains your finances and emotions. For this reason, you should seek legal counsel from a building dispute lawyer as soon as possible.

For Building Disputes in Brisbane, Seek Legal Advice

Contract disputes, payment conflicts, and construction faults are just a few causes of building disputes in Brisbane. Homeowners may settle conflicts by arbitration, mediation, QCAT Supreme Court litigation, or negotiation. Homeowners should get legal representation as it can provide them with the necessary details, skills, and negotiation abilities to traverse the legal system and reach a satisfactory conclusion successfully. Do not hesitate to get advice from a knowledgeable and experienced Brisbane construction lawyer if you are involved in a building dispute. You can defend your legal rights and acquire a just and favourable result with our help.

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What is the first step towards resolution in a domestic building dispute?

The first step is communicating with the other side to learn about their viewpoint and look for areas of agreement. If this doesn’t work, consult a conflict resolution lawyer for guidance. 

What are some typical causes of conflicts in buildings?

Building disputes can result from unsigned variations, price rises in fixed-fee contracts, defective or delayed building work, debt recovery, and payment demands.

How do parties lessen the possibility of building disputes?

The parties can reduce the chance of conflicts by putting variances in writing, ensuring builders fulfil deadlines, finishing buildings according to the practical completion stage, paying on time, keeping thorough records, and getting legal representation as soon as possible.

Can conflicts in construction arise from unrealistic expectations?

Indeed, having unrealistic hopes can fuel arguments. All involved parties must possess a realistic knowledge of the construction procedure, schedules, and potential risks. Managing expectations well helps avoid conflicts.

What are a few apparent indicators of potential building disputes?

A large number of quality issues, missing milestones, poorly stated scope of work or contract conditions, conflicts over payment claims, and frequent changes to significant subcontractors are all warning signals. Parties must be aware of these signs and take quick action as necessary.

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