Your domestic building dispute may not be eligible for our dispute resolution service if:

  • you have not taken reasonable steps to resolve it with the other party. For more information on how to do this, view our Tips to help you resolve your dispute page
  • it relates to just one of the following types of work, being performed under an individual contract: plumbing, painting, plastering, tiling, insulating, glazing, installing floor coverings, attaching external fixtures, or electrical work . Disputes about these types of work may be eligible if they are being provided as part of a contract also covering other types of building work.

If your dispute is ineligible for our service, you may receive further advice from the Building Information Line on 1300 55 75 59 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays) prior to applying directly to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

In certain circumstances, depending on the nature of your dispute, other agencies may be able to help you. For more information, view our Other helpful services page.

Example dispute scenarios

The following scenarios can provide guidance to help you work out whether your matter is eligible for our dispute resolution services:

Incomplete work by builder

  • Scenario 1
  • The painter Kelly hired to repaint her home failed to finish one of the rooms and now refuses to come back to complete the work.
  • Kelly is ineligible to use our dispute resolution service because her dispute involves only one specific type of building work outlined in the legislation – painting. She may receive further advice from the Building Information Line prior to taking the dispute directly to VCAT.
  • Scenario 2
  • Chris and Tina hired a building company to build an extension to their house but are unhappy as all their taps are leaking slightly. The building company keeps promising to send someone out to fix the leaks but nothing ever happens.
  • Chris and Tina are eligible to apply to use our dispute resolution service: although their dispute is in relation to one specific type of building work outlined in the legislation – plumbing – it was undertaken as part of a contract covering additional building work.

Non-payment by owner

  • Scenario 3
  • John runs a small building company that specialises in renovating bathrooms. They have completed the tiling work and plumbing for a client, but the client is refusing to pay them for their work.
  • John is eligible to apply to use our dispute resolution service because his dispute is in relation to two – not one – specific types of building work outlined in the legislation – tiling and plumbing.
  • Scenario 4
  • Dylan has been hired to put in new carpets in a terrace which is being renovated. The owners have hired different builders and tradespeople for specific jobs. He has already completed more than half the work but the owners keep delaying payments. Dylan has stopped work and wants to receive payment for the work that has already been done before continuing.
  • Dylan is ineligible to use our dispute resolution service because his dispute is in relation to one specific type of building work outlined in the legislation – installing floor coverings – on a separate contract, not involving additional building work. He may take the dispute directly to VCAT.

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