NCAT can hear and determine applications lodged by home owners, traders and insurers concerning residential building work up to the value of $500,000 under the
Home Building Act 1989.
‘Home building’ refers to any residential building work done by a building contractor or tradesperson, such as the construction of a new home, building of an extension to an existing home, installation of a swimming pool or a renovation of a bathroom or kitchen.
Major changes to the Home Building Act 1989 commenced on 15 January 2015. Visit NSW Fair Trading's website to learn more about the major changes to home building laws.
Consumers, traders and insurers can apply to NCAT about a home building matter:
Note: Before lodging your application the dispute must first be referred to NSW Fair Trading. Contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 for more information.
After lodging your application with NCAT, you can expect a first hearing within 6 weeks for matters concerning claims up to $30,000, or 8 weeks for matters concerning claims over $30,000.
All home building disputes must be referred in the first instance to NSW Fair Trading before an application can be accepted by NCAT.
lodge your home building complaint online or call NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20. NSW Fair Trading will attempt to negotiate a suitable outcome. If the issue is defective or incomplete building work, the complaint may be referred to a Fair Trading Building Inspector.
If Fair Trading cannot resolve the dispute, then you can lodge an application to NCAT. Provide a copy of the letter from NSW Fair Trading and any rectification orders issued with your application form.
Read Procedural Direction - Acceptance of building claims [PDF, 36kB] for the types of building claims that may be lodged with NCAT where there has been no investigation by NSW Fair Trading.
NCAT can hear and determine disputes between consumers, trader and insurers concerning residential building work up to the value of $500,000. Common disputes include:
Under the Home Building Act 1989, the Tribunal is to have regard to the principle that rectification of defective work by the responsible party is the preferred outcome (s.48MA). The Tribunal may make an order even if it is not the order that the applicant asked for (s.48O).
NCAT is required to provide NSW Fair Trading with a copy of all orders made against a builder or licensed tradesperson. Learn more about
Enforcing home building orders.
NCAT has jurisdiction under the
Home Building Act 1989 to determine home building applications up to $500,000. The following time limits apply:
A Scott Schedule is a form which allows parties to itemise defective and incomplete works which are the subject of a home building dispute. They are generally used in complex home building matters and/or where there are a number of defects.
If a Scott Schedule is required, instructions concerning its use will be given by the Tribunal Member at hearing.
Scott Schedule forms can be accessed from the
Forms page in PDF or RTF editable format.
Lodge your home building application online.
Home Building Act 1989
Fees and charges
Home building case studies
Procedural Direction - Acceptance of building claims [PDF 36kB]
Procedural Direction - Home building disputes [PDF 58kB]
Procedural Direction - Expert witnesses [PDF 45kB]
NSW Fair Trading
Home Building Advocacy Service (HoBAS)
Australian Institute of Building
Housing Industry Association (HIA)
Master Builders Association NSW
Master Plumbers Association of NSW
Australian Institute of Architects (NSW Chapter)
Property Council of Australia