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Inspections of building sites

July 13, 2020

The recent return of stage 3 lockdown restrictions for the Melbourne metropolitan area and the Shire of Mitchell has the effect of limiting client’s rights to visit building sites.  HIA understands that the directions made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act prevent clients from visiting building sites unless they can prove that the visit is necessary.

The one time when a client should be able to show that an inspection of their building site is necessary is the final inspection.  A HIA domestic building contract requires clients to have the opportunity to attend a final inspection to make sure that the building work is completed and to their satisfaction before the final payment is due.  HIA understands that these inspections will continue to be permissible.

Building inspections carried out by building surveyors and registered building inspectors engaged by a building surveyor may continue as these are required by law.

Other inspections, such as inspections at the completion of stages, cannot be shown to be necessary for the client.  The HIA contracts, and indeed the Domestic Building Contracts Act, allow clients to visit and inspect a building site upon giving reasonable notice to the builder.  Such inspections are however not essential and are at best show the building work at a point in time.  While members may want to allow a client opportunities to visit the building site unfortunately with the current restrictions this is unlikely to be necessary and the client may be fined if they attend.  Therefore it is suggested that members find alternative ways to let their clients monitor the progress of building work on a site.

If you need further information about this issue please contact a HIA Workplace Adviser on 1300 650 620.