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Home Building Advocacy Service

The Home Building Advocacy Service (HoBAS) is funded by the NSW Office of Fair Trading for consumers who have building disputes. The program assist the Government to achieve its consumer protection and social justice policy objectives.

HoBAS is a free, state-wide, advisory service.

HoBAS is primarily a telephone legal advice service although some clients are eligible for:

  • legal advice appointments,

  • representation at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
Accessing our service

HoBAS is means and merits tested. Preference is given to disadvantaged consumers who are elderly, have a proven disability, live in a rural area and/or have English as their second-language.

HoBAS can help you:

  • If you have not been successfull in resolving your building dispute through the NSW Fair Tradiing Dispute Resolution process and have been referred to NCAT,
  • If you need advice on defective and incomplete work,
  • If you need general advice on contractual disputes, inlcluding: variations/adjustments, progress payments, delay and termination,
  • If your property has damage caused by a builder/tradesperson,
  • If you need information about NCAT's processes and procedures,
  • If you need advice on the preparation of evidence for NCAT,
  • If you need help with advice on NCAT appeals,
  • If you need to transfer proceedings from the court system to NCAT,
  • If you need general advice on Home Building Compensation Fund cover )previously known as Home Warranty Insurance, WHI).

HoBAS cannot help you:

  • With a dispute if you have not been through NSW Fair Trading Dispute Resolution Service.
  • If you are a Builder or Tradesperson.
  • If you are an Owner Builder.
  • If you live in a Strata scheme and the dispute involves common property or structural defects.

 

The HoBAS team can be contacted on (02) 8833 0911

 

Tips when engaging a builder or contractor
  • Do a home building licence check to ensure that hte builder/tradesperson is licenced to do specific work - the right tradesperson with the right licence. Do not rely on the licence number provided to you by the contractor. Refer www.onegov.nsw.gov.au/licencecheck
  • Ensure you get a signed, written contract (a quote is not sufficient).
  • For work over $20,000 ensure that the builder/tradesperson provided you with a Certificate of Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund. Check the validity of the Certificate on the online register. Refer www.hbck.nsw.gov.au
  • Pay no more than 10% deposit for home building work.
  • Any variation to the contract must be in writing and signed by both you and the contracting builder/tradesperson and attached to the contract.
  • Obtain legal advice from a solicitor if you do not understand the contract or if the contract is of a significant amount.
  • Keep records? Paperwork, documents and communication records should be kept as this can ward off any potential disputes and place your in a better position to navigate a dispute should one arise.
  • Refer to the NSW Fair Trading website for further information: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
  • Refer to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) website for process, procedurs and how to prepare evidence for NCAT. Refer www.ncat.nsw.gov.au
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