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Handover and after

What is practical completion?

  • all work has been completed in accordance with the contract, including the plans and specifications;
    • either with no or only minor omissions or defects; and
    • if there are minor defects or omissions, you must provide the owner with a signed 'defects document'
  • the work complies with all relevant statutory requirements, including the Building Code of Australia; and
  • the home is also reasonably suitable for habitation

When is final payment due?

You cannot ask for final payment until you reach practical completion. You should give your client reasonable notice (roughly two to three weeks) of when you anticipate handover taking place.

You can ask for payment on smaller jobs, when all work has been completed in accordance with the contract, including plans and specifications, and complies with the relevant statutory requirements.

Pre-handover Inspection

It is recommended that you arrange an on-site inspection with the client perhaps a week before the date nominated for handover. This gives you a final opportunity to address any remaining issues prior to handover.

On Handover Day

You should ensure that you give the owner copies of any outstanding documentation such as:

  • certificates of inspection
  • product warranties for appliances installed; and
  • reports, notices or other documentation issued by service providers (e.g electricity, gas, telephone, water or sewerage).

In addition to these legislative requirements, some contracts (e.g the QBCC New Home Construction Contract) require the builder to provide the homeowner with all certificates of inspection (including, where appropriate, the 'Final' certificate) prior to receiving the final payment. You should always check the practical completion requirements under the contract.

Defects Document

Most standard contracts will include a defects document. Complete this with the owner during handover inspection. It must:

  • List the minor defects and minor omissions that both you and homeowner agree to;
  • State when you will attend to those matters;
  • Separately list minor defects or minor omissions that only the home owner believes exist; and
  • Be signed by the homeowner and yourself (or if you have signed it you need to make reasonable efforts to have the owner sign it).

Fixing items listed on the defects document

You need to fix any minor defects or omissions which are discovered at handover within six months after completion of the work (your obligations under QBCC's Rectification of Building Work policy) and  see also section 67 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act.

If more defects or omissions are discovered after, but within six months of handover, the owner must send a written list to you. Rectify these defects within a reasonable timeframe. You should keep copies of all correspondence for your records.

See Customer complaints and how to deal with them.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
14/02/2014 11:09 AM

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