New South Wales Consolidated Acts

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HOME BUILDING ACT 1989 - SECT 18E

Proceedings for breach of warranty

18E Proceedings for breach of warranty

(1) Proceedings for a breach of a statutory warranty must be commenced in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) proceedings must be commenced before the end of the warranty period for the breach,
(b) the warranty period is 6 years for a breach that results in a major defect in residential building work or 2 years in any other case,
(c) the warranty period starts on completion of the work to which it relates (but this does not prevent proceedings from being commenced before completion of the work),
(d) if the work is not completed, the warranty period starts on:
(i) the date the contract is terminated, or
(ii) if the contract is not terminated--the date on which work under the contract ceased, or
(iii) if the contract is not terminated and work under the contract was not commenced--the date of the contract,
(e) if the breach of warranty becomes apparent within the last 6 months of the warranty period, proceedings may be commenced within a further 6 months after the end of the warranty period,
(f) a breach of warranty
"becomes apparent" when any person entitled to the benefit of the warranty first becomes aware (or ought reasonably to have become aware) of the breach.
(1A) If a building bond has been lodged for building work under Part 11 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 , the period of 2 years specified for commencing proceedings for a breach of a statutory warranty for that work is extended until the end of 90 days after the end of the period within which a final inspection report on the building work under that Part is required.
(1B) Subsection (1A) does not limit any other law that permits the period for commencement of proceedings to be extended.
(2) The fact that a person entitled to the benefit of a statutory warranty specified in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (e) or (f) of section 18B has enforced the warranty in relation to a particular deficiency in the work does not prevent the person from enforcing the same warranty for a deficiency of a different kind in the work (
"the other deficiency" ) if:
(a) the other deficiency was in existence when the work to which the warranty relates was completed, and
(b) the person did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, of the existence of the other deficiency when the warranty was previously enforced, and
(c) the proceedings to enforce the warranty in relation to the other deficiency are brought within the period referred to in subsection (1).
(3) The regulations may prescribe defects in a building that are not (despite any other provision of this section) a major defect.
(4) In this section:

"major defect" means:
(a) a defect in a major element of a building that is attributable to defective design, defective or faulty workmanship, defective materials, or a failure to comply with the structural performance requirements of the National Construction Code (or any combination of these), and that causes, or is likely to cause:
(i) the inability to inhabit or use the building (or part of the building) for its intended purpose, or
(ii) the destruction of the building or any part of the building, or
(iii) a threat of collapse of the building or any part of the building, or
(b) a defect of a kind that is prescribed by the regulations as a major defect, or
(c) the use of a building product (within the meaning of the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 ) in contravention of that Act.
Note : The definition of
"major defect" also applies for the purposes of section 103B (Period of cover).

"major element" of a building means:
(a) an internal or external load-bearing component of a building that is essential to the stability of the building, or any part of it (including but not limited to foundations and footings, floors, walls, roofs, columns and beams), or
(b) a fire safety system, or
(c) waterproofing, or
(d) any other element that is prescribed by the regulations as a major element of a building.



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