Changes in accountability a big win for Queensland home owners

Changes in accountability a big win for Queensland home owners

Renovations, Tips and Advice, New Homes

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) have just announced a policy change that’s certain to benefit anyone building or renovating, be it a residential or commercial property.

They are going to make subcontractors accountable for any dodgy or defective building work that they do.

Now, this might come as a shock to some of you, as common sense would dictate that if a Tradie does a poor job, they would be held responsible, however that hasn’t really been the case. You see, as it currently stands if any defective work is carried out on a property the responsibility for fixing that work rested with the principle contractors – typically the builders that you engaged to do the work. It was then up to the builders to try and get the at-fault subcontractor to fix the mistake.

But as of the 1st of June 2015, that’s all going to change with the QBCC now making the subcontractors themselves responsible for any substandard work.

What will happen if the work is defective?

In the past, if any work wasn’t up to standard your course of action was to complain to the QBCC who – if they agreed that the work was substandard – would then pursue the builders. The builders would then have to remedy the work which would often involve them trying to get the subcontractor to come back and fix their mistakes. The problem here, however, was that the builder didn’t have a lot of leverage. Often the subcontractor had already been paid and there wasn’t a whole lot the builder could threaten them with.

But under this new policy, the QBCC hold the subcontractor responsible and they do have some serious leverage. Under this new policy, the subcontractor must rectify any substandard work or face disciplinary action which could include suspension or even cancellation of their license if they fail to remedy the problem.

How you the homeowner will win

The clear benefit in this new policy is that you are less likely to be the victim of shoddy workmanship and in the event that defective work does occur on your project, I believe you will see that work rectified more quickly than it would have been in the past.

Redoing projects costs subcontractors time which in turn costs them money. Now that they are going to be forced to fix their mistakes they will be far less likely to take shortcuts in the first place and that has to be a good thing for anyone getting building work done.

In fairness this has not been a huge issue in the past for any client’s of ours that have had us administer their contracts, as we only deal with quality, reputable builders who have a network of quality subcontractors and we carefully monitor all work done. But for those that like to find and engage their own builders, and for those builders themselves, this is a welcome commonsense change in policy.

To find out more about the new Accountability for Subcontractor Defects Policy simply click on this link: or contact us.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.