Section 3B of the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) details the date of completion of residential building work. The recent case of Ashton v Stevenson [2019] NSWCATAP considered the application of this section in a situation where the original owner-builder and the new owner of the property disputed the ‘date of completion’ of the building works. The date of completion is relevant as it marks the commencement of the statutory warranty period. Under section 3B(3)(d) of the Act, the date of completion for owner-builder work is 18 months after the issue of the owner-builder permit. The new owner of the property relied on this provision, arguing that 7 February 2015 was the date of completion as it was 18 months following the date of the owner-builder permit. The original owner-builder relied on section 3B(3) which stipulated that sub-sections under 3B(3) should be applied unless an earlier date for practical completion can be established. In providing evidence from carpenters who had completed work on the property in May 2014, the owner-builder claimed that there was sufficient evidence to establish an earlier date for practical completion. The tribunal agreed with the owner-builder, ruling that under s3B(3) there was adequate evidence to establish an earlier completion date. This decision illustrates the importance of identifying evidence of possible earlier completion dates when determining the commencement of statutory warranty periods.

Leave a Reply