Can builders be liable for damages and allow home owner's compensation for stress and inconvenience?

Compensation for stress and inconvenience under the Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act (WA) 2011 

On 22 June 2017, in the matter of Dumbreck v Tangent Nominees [2017] WASAT 88, the State Administrative Tribunal delivered its decision in an application for review. The review Tribunal decided that the original Tribunal erred in concluding that section 36(1)(c) of the BSCRA Act does not permit compensation for stress and inconvenience associated with a builder failing to carry out a regulated building service in a proper and proficient manner or which is faulty or unsatisfactory. The review Tribunal upheld the review and decided that compensation for stress and inconvenience may be awarded under s36(1)(c) of the BSCRA Act for building work being faulty or unsatisfactory, or work being physically not carried out in a proper and proficient manner. The review Tribunal awarded compensation of a significant sum of money to the Applicants.

The important qualification stated by the review Tribunal was that it is necessary for the Tribunal to be satisfied that compensation should cover only that stress and inconvenience over and above what might be experienced as a normal, or not reasonably unexpected, incident of the building process.

The decision sets a high bar for homeowners to satisfy before compensation for stress and inconvenience will be awarded, when making claims against Builders for failing to carry out a regulated building service in a proper and proficient manner or which is faulty or unsatisfactory.

Will Vogt has 16 years' experience in building and construction disputes. For legal advice regarding building services, contact Mr Vogt on 08 9328 5999.