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DOMESTIC BUILDING CONTRACTS ACT 1995


TABLE OF PROVISIONS

   PART 1--PRELIMINARY

   1.      Purpose  
   2.      Commencement  
   3.      Definitions  
   4.      Objects of the Act  
   5.      Building work to which this Act applies[1]  
   6.      Building work to which this Act does not apply  
   7.      This Act binds the Crown  

   PART 2--PROVISIONS THAT APPLY TO ALL DOMESTIC BUILDING CONTRACTS

           Division 1--General warranties[3]

   8.      Implied warranties concerning all domestic building work  
   9.      Warranties to run with the building  
   10.     Person cannot sign away a right to take advantage of a warranty  

           Division 2--Restrictions applying to the nature and contents of contracts

   11.     Limit on amount of deposit  
   12.     Contract for more than one sort of work must identify the domestic building work  
   13.     Restrictions on cost plus contracts  
   13A.    Effect of GST clauses on certain contracts  
   14.     Arbitration clauses prohibited  
   15.     Restrictions concerning cost escalation clauses  
   16.     Builder must not seek more than the contract price  

           Division 3--Provisions concerning building sites

   17.     Restrictions on builders' control of building sites  
   18.     Contract does not entitle builder to put caveat on the title of building site land  
   19.     Access to building site  

           Division 4--Provisions concerning prime cost items or provisional sums

   20.     Warranty concerning provisional sums[7]  
   21.     Requirements concerning prime cost item and provisional sum estimates  
   22.     Details of prime cost items and provisional sums must be set out in writing  
   23.     Builder must supply evidence of cost of prime cost items and provisional sums  

           Division 5--Other matters

   24.     Builder may exclude certain items from contract price  
   25.     Builder must give copy of contract to building owner  
   26.     Builder must supply copies of relevant reports etc.  
   27.     Effect of payments and non-payments to builders  
   28.     Fixtures and fittings are included in contract price  

   PART 3--PROVISIONS THAT ONLY APPLY TO MAJOR DOMESTIC BUILDING CONTRACTS

           Division 1--Provisions that apply before a contract is signed

   29.     Person must not enter into contract unless registered  
   29A.    Contract information statement  
   30.     Builder must obtain information concerning foundations  

           Division 2--What contracts must, and must not, contain

   31.     General contents etc. of a contract  
   32.     Builder must make allowance for delays in time estimates  
   33.     Contract must contain warning if price likely to vary  

           Division 3--Cooling-off period after signing a contract

   34.     Building owner may end a contract within 5 days without penalty  
   35.     Building owner may withdraw from a contract if cooling-off warning not given  

           Division 4--Provisions applying after the contract is signed

   36.     Builder must give copy of other documents to building owner  
   37.     Variation of plans or specifications—by builder  
   38.     Variation of plans or specifications—by building owner  
   39.     Effect of a variation on the contract price  
   40.     Limits on progress payments  

           Division 5--End of the contract

   41.     Ending a contract if completion time or cost blows out for unforeseeable reasons  
   42.     When work is to be considered to have been completed  

           Division 6--Other matters

   43.     Requirements concerning display home contracts  

   PART 4--DOMESTIC BUILDING WORK DISPUTES

           Division 1--Preliminary

   44.     What is a domestic building work dispute?  

           Division 2--Referral of domestic building work disputes

   45.     Referral of domestic building work dispute to chief dispute resolution officer  
   45A.    Initial assessment of referral  
   45B.    Powers of conciliation officer in making assessment  
   45BA.   Withdrawal of referral  
   45C.    Acceptance or rejection of referral  
   45D.    Where more than one matter referred  
   45E.    Notice of decision  
   45F.    Certificate of conciliation—dispute not suitable for conciliation  
   45G.    Withdrawal of referral or matter referred  

           Division 3--Conciliation of domestic building work disputes

   46.     Referral of dispute to conciliation officer  
   46AA.   Powers of conciliation officer  
   46A.    How may conciliation be conducted?  
   46B.    Conciliation rules  
   46C.     Statements made during conciliation  
   46E.    Certificate of conciliation—dispute accepted for conciliation  
   46F.    Record of agreement if dispute resolved by conciliation  
   46G.    Notice of failure to comply with conciliated agreement  
   46H.    Notice of non-compliance with conciliated agreement  

           Division 4--Requirement to stop domestic building work

   47.     Application of Division  
   47A.    Requirement to stop domestic building work  
   47B.    Extension or cancellation of stop work notice  
   47C.    Effect of stop work notice  
   47D.    Builder must comply with stop work notice  

           Division 5--Assessment of domestic building work

   48.     Who may be appointed as an assessor?  
   48A.    Functions of assessor  
   48B.    Directions to assessor  
   48BA.   Protection against liability for assessors  
   48C.    Request to chief dispute resolution officer for assessor  
   48D.    Assessor may enter building site  
   48E.    Powers in relation to examination of work  
   48F.    Power to require production of documents  
   48G.    Refusal or failure to comply with requirement  
   48H.    Protection against self-incrimination  
   48I.    Offence to hinder or obstruct assessor  
   48J.    Assessor may conduct tests and obtain expert advice  
   48K.    Costs to be paid by non-participating party  
   48L.    Agreement of requesting party required for test or expert advice  
   48M.    Requesting party liable for costs  
   48N.    Recovery of costs  
   48O.    Reporting the results of an examination  
   48P.    Report if building work not defective or incomplete  
   48Q.    Report if building work defective or incomplete  
   48R.    Report of non-compliance with building legislation  
   48S.    Effect of complying with assessor's recommendations  
   48T.    Assessor's report admissible in evidence  

           Division 6--Dispute resolution orders

   49.     When can a dispute resolution order be issued?  
   49A.    Matters to be considered by chief dispute resolution officer before issuing dispute resolution order  
   49B.    What can a dispute resolution order require?  
   49C.    Requirements for the payment of money  
   49D.    Dispute resolution order may include findings  
   49E.    Effect of complying with dispute resolution order  
   49F.    Notice to insurer  
   49G.    Payment out of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund  
   49H.    Decision by chief dispute resolution officer on own volition  
   49I.    Cancellation of dispute resolution order on failure to comply with order  
   49J.    Request to amend or cancel dispute resolution order  
   49K.    Powers of chief dispute resolution officer in considering amending or cancelling dispute resolution order  
   49L.    Decision of chief dispute resolution officer on request  
   49M.    Matters to be considered in deciding on request  
   49N.    Amendment or cancellation of other relevant dispute resolution orders  
   49O.    Notice of decision of chief dispute resolution officer  
   49P.    Notice of compliance with work under dispute resolution order  
   49Q.    Notice of compliance with payment under dispute resolution order  
   49R.    Notice of failure to rectify or complete work  
   49S.    Chief dispute resolution officer to direct assessor to examine work  
   49T.    Chief dispute resolution officer may extend period for compliance  
   49U.    Breach of dispute resolution order notice  
   49V.    Cancellation of breach of dispute resolution order notice  
   49W.    Right of building owner to end domestic building contract  
   49X.    Right of builder to end domestic building contract  

           Division 7--Powers of Director in relation to domestic building work dispute proceedings

   50.     Powers of Director to institute and defend proceedings  
   50A.    Proceedings and costs  

           Division 8--Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund

   51.     Establishment of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund  
   51A.    Parties may agree to pay amounts into and out of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund  
   51B.    Director may pay amounts out of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund on the recommendation of the chief dispute resolution officer  

           Division 9--Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria

   52.     Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria  
   52A.    Composition  
   52B.    Functions of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria  
   52C.    Appointment of chief dispute resolution officer  
   52D.    Functions of chief dispute resolution officer  
   52E.    Appointment of conciliation officers  
   52F.    Delegation  
   52H.    Protection against liability for conciliation officers  
   52I.    Confidentiality  

   PART 5--VCAT JURISDICTION

           Division 2--Proceedings before VCAT

   53.     Settlement of building disputes  
   54.     What is a domestic building dispute?  
   55.     Who can ask VCAT to resolve a domestic building dispute?  
   56.     Certificate of conciliation required to bring proceeding in VCAT to resolve domestic building work dispute  
   57.     VCAT to be chiefly responsible for resolving domestic building disputes  
   57A.    Certain actions not to proceed in a court without certificate of conciliation or leave  
   58.     VCAT may hear disputes while contract still in operation  
   59.     VCAT may hear dispute regardless of related criminal proceedings  
   59A.    Disputes concerning insurance claims  
   60.     VCAT may review and change an insurer's decision  
   61.     Who can ask VCAT to review an insurer's decision?  
   62.     VCAT may make decision if an insurer fails to make it in time  
   63.     Application for review of decision to issue or amend dispute resolution order  
   64.     Effect of withdrawal of application for review  
   65.     Application for review of decision to pay money out of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund  
   66.     Application for review of decision to issue breach of dispute resolution order notice  
   67.     Application by building owner for order following ending of domestic building contract  
   67A.    Application by builder for order following ending of domestic building contract  
   68.     Exemptions from owner-builder restrictions on sale  

   PART 6--GENERAL

   122.    Publication of directions  
   123.    Additional functions of the Director  
   123A.   Director may provide information to the Authority  
   124.    Domestic Builders Fund  
   124A.   Application of provisions of Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012  
   125.    Infringement notice  
   127.    Further proceedings concerning infringement notices  
   128.    Continuing offences—default penalty  
   130.    Offences by partners  
   131.    Time limit for criminal proceedings  
   132.    Contracting out of this Act prohibited  
   133.    Effect of failure to comply with a requirement of this Act  
   134.    Supreme Court—limitation of jurisdiction  
   135.    Regulations  
   136.     Transitional provisions  
           SCHEDULE 1
           SCHEDULE 2
           ENDNOTES


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