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Statutory warranties mean that:
The owner, or a subsequent owner of the property, may make a claim that you are in breach of one or more of these warranties within six years for major defects and within two years for other defects from the date of completion.
These warranty periods apply to contracts entered into after 1 February 2012.
For contracts entered into prior to this time, the warranty period is seven years with no distinct periods for ‘major’ or ‘other’ defects (or previously ‘structural’ and ‘non-structural’). Each alleged breach of warranty would need to be investigated to determine whether it relates to the builder/contractor’s workmanship. Industry guidance materials like standards and tolerances guides can assist.
If an owner claims you have breached a statutory warranty you must reply. You should go and inspect the work. If you want to challenge the owner’s claim you may need to consider getting expert advice. If you are found to be in breach of a statutory warranty you may be told to rectify the work or pay damages.
It is a defence if you can prove that the defect has arisen from:
Note that you cannot exclude or restrict the operation of these statutory warranties and any term in a contract that seeks to do this is void.
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