• Perry Thomas Lawyers

Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) - Changes Announced

The Victorian State Government has recently introduced the Consumer Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 that proposes a number of changes to the domestic building dispute resolution scheme at Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (commonly known as the “DBDRV”). This article, without descending to the technical details, briefly sets out the proposed changes.

In the Second Reading Speech, Minister Kairouz said the amendments are being made to enable a ‘more efficient, fair and effective resolution of domestic building disputes’ for disputes referred to the DBDRV for conciliation.

More specifically, Minister Kairouz highlighted the proposed changes as follows:

  1. A streamlining of the process of accepting or rejecting a referral of a domestic building dispute to the DBDRV;

  2. Allowing the DBDRV to request additional information from a referring party at any time, as opposed to just at the initial assessment process;

  3. Enable the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer to issue a Certificate of Conciliation without first giving notice of an intention to do so;

  4. Provide additional grounds for the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer to rely upon in issuing a Certificate of Conciliation;

  5. To prevent ‘forum shopping’, the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer will be empowered to reject a referral where the dispute arises out of a domestic building contract that also falls within the ambit of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) (“SOP Act”) and an action has been instituted or resolved under the SOP Act; and

  6. Amendments to the dispute resolution order regime to:

  • Require a builder to make payment to the building owner in appropriate circumstances; and

  • Enable the builder to terminate a domestic building contract when there is no finding that the building work was defective or incomplete.

Once the above proposed changes become law (if they do), we will endeavour to review, in detail, the changes made and report on same.

In the interim, if you wish to discuss your domestic building dispute, please do not hesitate to contact Perry Thomas Lawyers on 03 8375 9638.

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