Renovation Works – Put it into writing!
In the case of Price, Clark v Urban Garden Enrichment and Munn (Home Building)  NSWCTTT 413, the applicants requested Mr Munn to assist them with drawing up plans for landscaping a courtyard and swimming pool. Mr Munn held a Qualified Supervisor Licence for structural landscaping but was not permitted to contract directly with consumers. Furthermore, the applicants had informed Mr Munn that their budget for the project was $40,000.00 and could not exceed $45,000.00.
Mr Munn, through his corporate company, Urban Garden Enrichment Pty Ltd (UGE), entered into an oral contract with the applicants to design and execute the works, however, UGE failed to obtain Home Owners Warranty Insurance for the project.
After the completion of the works, it was discovered that there was unsatisfactory waterproofing of the home’s foundation walls which resulted in water penetration into the home and consequently the applicants claimed there was a breach of s 18B of the Home Building Act 1989 (the Act), in that:
- the works were not performed in a proper and workmanlike manner;
- the materials supplied were not good and suitable for the purpose for which they are used; and
- the works were not performed with due diligence and within a reasonable period of time.
It was further claimed that there was a breach of an oral contract and a claim for negligence pursuant to s 48K (3) of the Act.
UGE argued that the applicants were owner builders of the works whom supervised and instructed the labour for the performance of the works. For example, there was evidence tendered that the applicants supplied their own bulldozer and rented an excavator to assist with the site clearing at the commencement of the works. The applicants also ordered their own materials and paid for the invoices for the purchase of the raw materials.
Based on the facts of the case, it was held that the Tribunal member was unable to reach a level of satisfaction that the parties reached an agreement with regards to its terms and therefore the applicants’ case was unsuccessful.
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