Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) is an independent government agency that helps resolve domestic (residential) building disputes.
The DBDRV scheme makes it easier for parties to access free, fair and efficient dispute resolution services without the cost and time associated with courts and tribunals.
Accredited and trained conciliators, supported by independent building experts, assist parties to reach an agreed resolution.
The DBDRV scheme came about as a result of the Building Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Act 2016 which introduced significant changes to the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995. The scheme commenced operation on 26 April 2017.
How does it work?
The services of DBDRV are impartial and its focus is on bringing both parties together to discuss and resolve matters through a process of conciliation. DBDRV can help with a range of building disputes including, but not limited to:
Defective or incomplete building work;
Delays to building work;
Issues with payment;
Some types of home repairs.
Parties who are eligible to use the dispute resolution services of DBDRV are:
Builder owners; and
Architects or sub-contractors.
It is important that parties take reasonable steps to attempt to resolve the dispute with each other first before approaching the DBDRV.
If the dispute proceeds to conciliation, documentation may be requested by the Dispute Resolution Office including:
Building contracts and associated plans and specifications;
Architectural and/or engineering drawings;
Building permits and plans;
Records of any inspections undertaken by a building surveyor;
Extension of time requests;
Invoices and receipts;
Correspondence with the other party relevant to the dispute; and
The DRDRV may also organise an assessor to examine the disputed building work to assess whether the domestic building work is defective or incomplete. As assessor has wide powers, including to:
Enter the site;
Demolish or open up any work;
Require a person to give information or produce documents;
Carry out tests; and
Obtain expert advice.
Once the assessment is completed, a report is required to be prepared by the assessor and furnished to the parties of the dispute and the Chief Dispute Resolution Office.
If conciliation does not ultimately resolve the dispute, the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer has the power to issue binding dispute resolution orders and certificates.
If you are a Builder or Builder Owner and involved in a building dispute, contact us for a frank discussion on whether an application can be made to the DBDRV.
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