Justice Connect helps Home Owners tackle Dodgy Builders

With Australia’s building boom, more and more people are looking to newly constructed homes. But when something goes wrong with a new home, builders aren’t always happy to fix it—even when the home is under warranty.

That’s what happened to Justice Connect’s client, Jane*. Jane and her husband were excited to move into their new home.

But their excitement soon turned to despair when they noticed leaks in the ceiling, walls and plumbing. The leaks were slowly destroying their home.

The builder’s warranty should have covered the damage, but after two years of back and forth, the builder still hadn’t fixed the house.

“By that time we were so sick of it, we just wanted the problem to go away,” said Jane. No matter how persistent she was, the builder refused to respond to the damage.

Jane needed legal help. She initially hired a private lawyer, but when the matter dragged on and on, the costs quickly grew too high. Instead, they decided to represent themselves. Many Australians, like Jane, can’t afford the expensive cost of litigation. But they also don’t meet the criteria for free legal help. They’re the missing middle when it comes to legal help, and for many homeowners, the options can be limited. And when English is a second language, navigating the court process alone can be especially challenging.

Thankfully, Jane heard about Justice Connect’s Domestic Building Legal Service. Designed to help homeowners in disputes with their builders, the service provides tailored legal help to homeowners who have been through Domestic Building Dispute Resolution and still haven’t reached a resolution. After a one-hour appointment with a Justice Connect lawyer, Jane had the knowledge and confidence she needed to represent herself at VCAT and win the costs to fix her home.

Justice Connect offers free advice with a lawyer for eligible homeowners. They have access to interpreting services to ensure everyone can get the legal help they need. For homeowners facing ongoing, expensive legal disputes, it could be the legal advice necessary to win someone the costs they need to fix their home.

“We got a good resolution,” said Jane after ending over two years of disputes with her builder, “We’re nothing but happy with the service we got from Justice Connect.”


*Names have been changed.

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