19 October 2010

Queensland Building Services Authority helps record number of homeowners

Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology

The Honourable Robert Schwarten


BSA helps record number of homeowners left in the lurch by shoddy builders

The Global Financial Crisis continues to hit the Queensland building industry with a record number of homeowners last year making insurance claims after builders failed to complete building work.

Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said today that 368 non-completion claims had been received in 2009/10, an increase of 95 on the 273 claims last year.

He said Queensland's building industry watchdog, the Building Services Authority (BSA), had assisted homeowners to fix incomplete or shoddy work with a record $42 million in insurance payments from the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.

"The Bligh Government is protecting homeowners from builders who have closed their doors without warning or who have done shoddy work," Mr Schwarten said.

"Last year was a very unstable year for the building industry, due to the ongoing effects of the GFC, and I am pleased that the BSA has been there to look after homeowners," he said.

Mr Schwarten said 337 of the 368 claims had been approved - an approval rate of 91 per cent.

In 2008/09, 234 of the 273 claims were approved - a rate of 85 per cent.

Mr Schwarten said the BSA also had reduced the average time taken to approve claims from nearly three months to under two months, from 80 to 50 calendar days.

Under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme, homeowners dealing with a licensed builders are insured for incomplete or defective work.

It is the best home warranty scheme in Australia.

Before it approves a claim, the BSA must inspect a property for defects and inspect the state of the works,.

It then prepares a plan for completion of the work and tenders to at least two competing builders, who generally take 20 to 25 days to return a quote to the BSA.

Once the quotes are received, the claim is considered and, if approved, the home owner can enter into a new contract to complete the home with a builder of their choice.

Mr Schwarten said he was pleased that the BSA had reduced the time taken to approve claims.

"Unfortunately the number of claims for incomplete claims has risen as a result of economic circumstances but the BSA is doing a good job in assisting homeowners in a timely way," he said.

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