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Changes to ACT contracts

The ACT government has recently passed the ‘Building (General) Amendment Regulation 2019 (No. 1.)’. This Regulation makes any clause in a contract that makes the builder responsible for appointing a certifier or any clause that appoints the builder as the owner’s agent for appointing a certifier as void. As a result of these legislative changes, HIA has updated the New Dwellings Contract to make them compliant.

Changes to the HIA Contract

HIA has drafted a new clause 7 for our contracts as follows:

Clause 7 Planning and Building Approvals

  1. The person identified in Item 8 Schedule 1 will obtain and pay for all planning and building approvals.
  2. If the Builder is named in Item 8 of Schedule 1, the owner agrees to sign all documents and do all acts as requested by the builder to enable the builder to obtain all necessary approvals, permissions, consents and authorities on behalf of the owner.
  3. The person identified in Item 8 of Schedule 1 must obtain all approvals within 90 days of signing the contract.

For contracts purchased on Contracts Online, the clause will be updated and ready for use prior to 1 October 2019.

For those members who have hardcopy printed contracts, there are two (2) options available to make the change:

Option 1
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In the Special Conditions (contained in Schedule 2) state the following:

"The existing clause 7 is deleted and replaced with the following clause:

Clause 7 Planning and Building Approvals

  1. The person identified in Item 8 Schedule 1 will obtain and pay for all planning and building approvals.
  2. If the Builder is named in Item 8 of Schedule 1, the owner agrees to sign all documents and do all acts as requested by the builder to enable the builder to obtain all necessary approvals, permissions, consents and authorities on behalf of the owner.
  3. The person identified in Item 8 of Schedule 1 must obtain all approvals within 90 days of signing the contract."
Option 2
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Strike through (strike through) the existing clause 7 and physically tape or glue the new clause on top or near it. A copy of this information can be given to the owner to explain why the change is necessary.

We recommend that both parties initial next to this change if this option is taken.

How to appoint a certifier after these changes

While the appointment of the certifier cannot be dealt with in the construction contract the homeowner may still agree to appoint the builder as their agent to appoint the certifier. In order to do this a separate document must be filled out by the parties.

We suggest that our members have a discussion with their clients prior to entering into the contract as to who the certifier may be.

To find out more, contact HIA's Contracts and Compliance team

Email us

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