The Northern Territory Parliament have approved a Residential Building Insurance Fidelity Fund that will become active as of the 1st January 2013. This is fantastic news for the NT and clients who new build new homes and those who extend their properties. SAR Contracting completely support this initiative from the NT Government. The Northern Territory has been the only State or Territory without this type of insurance. Hence when clients decided to build a new home there was never a structural or internal warranty to cover them from defects or from the builder going bankrupt or into liquidation.
We attended the meetings with the industry representatives and the government to gain an understanding of what this insurance will cover. The overwhelming support from builders was a 6 year structural and 12 month internal warranty against defects. We are still waiting for confirmation as to exactly what is covered under these categories and the cost involved, which of course will need to be passed onto clients. However the cost of insurance should be considered necessary rather than a necessary evil to protect clients from dodgy builders or those who cease to exist.
The concern we at SAR Contracting has is that: currently clients who renovate their properties are covered via the Home Building Certification Fund administered by TIO, if a permit is required due to changing the internal structural design of the home.
Under the new insurance (Residential Building Insurance) whilst we will be required to obtain permits, and Building Advisory BoardApproval for internal structural changes, as of the 1st January 2013 we will not be obtaining insurance for clients as we currently do as this insurance is to cease.
Effectively what this means is that we and and other companies can complete $20,000 – $500,000 internal renovations in your home, get the required permit but you will not be covered by any insurance if anything goes wrong, if we are not increasing the living space of the home such as an extension.
You have heard of the saying BUYER BEWARE as of the 1st January 2012 it will be RENOVATOR BEWARE.
There has been a lot of new people and businesses enter the Home Renovation/Kitchen/Bathroom renovation industry sector over the last year or two. Many of these are fly by nighters and are not credible or provide quality work. You get what you pay for is an old saying that can be quite true.
They will undercut many businesses that have been established here with credible operations and who will provide you with at least a 12 month warranty. FOR YOUR OWN PEACE OF MIND ONLY USE REGISTERED BUILDERS WHO WILL GUARANTEE THEIR WORK AND PROVIDE A QUALITY SERVICE, AND CHECK REFERENCES CAREFULY.
YOU CAN CHECK IF A BUILDER IS REGISTERED BY LOGGING ONTO http://www.bpb.nt.gov.au/ the Building Practitioners Board NT.