There’s no better feeling than being a homeowner, right? You’ve probably put a significant amount of hard work into creating your perfect home. So of course, you’d want to ensure your pride and joy is protected. Especially when it comes to renovation or building time.
Part and parcel of being a homeowner, is enlisting the services of tradespeople. Whether you’re getting that stone wall repointed or you’re finally building that extension – you’ll want to ensure the job is completed at maximum quality and efficiency. This is where it becomes important for you to have an understanding of the insurances out there, which are designed to protect you and your asset.
Home Owners Warranty (also known as Builders Warranty or Home Building Compensation Fund – HBCF), is an insurance designed to implement the Home Building Act 1989. It protects you, the consumer if you lose your deposit, the tradesperson doesn’t compete the job or it’s defective, they become insolvent, die or disappear.
In 2015, the second highest form of compliant to Fair Trading was jobs left uncompleted. Protect yourself from falling into this statistic by selecting a trade company that is H.O.W approved.
In NSW, Home Owners Warranty must be taken out by your builder and a certificate of insurance must be provided to you if the value of work is over $20 000.
So, if your next renovation works have just been valued at over $20 000 – ask your tradesperson for a certificate of insurance, which (if they are already approved) will obtain through their insurer via NSW Gov icare hbcf.
Remember, as a consumer…
- You have the statutory right to end the contract during a cooling-off period of 5 business days. Keep in mind, your builder can be entitled to out-of-pocket expenses incurred.
- The maximum deposit your builder can take is 10 percent. Regardless of work value.
Other ways to protect yourself…
- Avoid quotations that appear to be ‘too good to be true’. If you receive a quote that is significantly lower than others, your builder might not fully understand the work required or job quality could be compromised.
- Prior to making payment – check the validity of your certificate of insurance through the Certificates Register via hbcf.nsw.gov.au .
- Understand the difference between a certificate of eligibility and a certificate of insurance. Eligibility only means that the builder is eligible, but hasn’t yet received an approved certificate for your job.
- Make sure the insurance provided is by a NSW gov approved agent. This will either be QBE Insurance Australia Limited or Residential Builders Underwriting Agency Pty Ltd.
- Don’t sign or agree to anything if you’re feeling pressured by ‘sales’ techniques.
If something goes wrong, what should you do?
- Speak to your tradesperson and notify them of the concerns you may have. Usually mistakes are simply due to miscommunication and can be easily rectified.
- Educate yourself on your rights and responsibilities. Have a read of the Guide to Standards & Tolerances at fairtrading.nsw.gov.au .
- Contact your insurer as soon as you become aware of any defects.
At the end of the day, Home Owners Warranty is designed to protect both you, the consumer and the builder. It ensures standards by both parties are met and work is effectively completed. Ask your tradesperson if they are H.O.W eligible or check their license details.
Premier Pointing, is officially Home Owners Warranty approved and can provide a certificate of insurance for all jobs over $20 000. If you’d prefer to work with a highly experienced and qualified team, call us today on 0450 942 080 or request a free quote.