Question from 86Dozer, What are my rights regarding variation costs in a building contract in Western Australia?
Answer from AI:
In Western Australia, the law provides certain protections for consumers in relation to building contracts. These protections are primarily found in the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 (WA) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Understanding Variation Costs
Variation costs are additional charges that a builder may impose if changes are made to the original plan or specifications of the building project. These changes could be due to unforeseen circumstances, changes requested by the homeowner, or changes required by law or regulations.
Under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991, for home building contracts valued between $7,500 and $500,000, there are specific rules about variations:
- Variations must be in writing and agreed by both parties.
- The builder must provide a clear description of the variation, the cost, and the effect on the completion date.
- The builder cannot charge an excessive price for the variation.
The Australian Consumer Law also provides protections against unfair contract terms and misleading or deceptive conduct. If a builder is charging excessive variation costs or not properly disclosing these costs, they may be in breach of these laws.
What to Do If You Believe Variation Costs Are Unfair
If you believe the variation costs are unfair, you should:
- Review your contract: Check the terms of your contract regarding variations. If you’re unsure, you may need to seek legal advice.
- Communicate with your builder: Discuss your concerns with your builder. They may be willing to negotiate the costs.
- Seek legal advice: If you cannot resolve the issue with your builder, you may need to seek legal advice. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options.
- Contact a relevant authority: If you believe your builder is acting unlawfully, you can contact the Building Commission or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Remember, this information is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation. It’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional for personalized advice. You can find more information about your rights under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 and the Australian Consumer Law.