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VIC Defective Bathroom Renovation - Grounds to Not Pay Full Amount?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Ann M, 22 January 2015.

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  1. Ann M

    Ann M Active Member

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    Sorry for long post but I don't know if I have grounds to pay a 'friend' less money due to his defective work in relation to a bathroom reno. He is supposedly certified in applying membrane (waterproofing). We hired him to do blueboard, membraning and tiling because he needed the money (turns out he needs money because he is lazy and makes excuses not to work such as 'having a heart attack' after pulling a muscle from lifting something - he did not even see a Doctor). These are the issues:

    3 Inch Gap Between Blueboard and Shower Base:
    Had to organise a plasterer to stop it up (so no waterproof blueboard in the gap).

    Cornice:
    Our 'friend' organised cornice for the plasterer despite our 'friend' being told we wanted floor to ceiling tiles.
    Paid plasterer to remove it at a cost of $200. Cornice cost us $50.

    Patchy Membrane:
    Had to go over bare patches that should have had membrane.

    No Silicone When Membraning.
    Tiler (who we hired after becoming fed up with our 'friend's' unreliability and incompetence) told us to take down the blueboard/membrane and have it done again because no silicone means cracking with movement resulting in leaks.

    Whole Bathroom Membraned:
    The tiler said our 'friend' is charging us for unnecessary work (and defective work at that) because only bathrooms that are not on the ground floor require membraning of the whole room.

    Shower Base:
    The plumber said we were fortunate the shower walls would slot into the base otherwise it would leak due to the way the base was installed.

    Timeframe:
    Our friend's invalid excuses meant a job that should have taken up to 3 weeks to complete was dragged out to 8 weeks with no end in sight (ie with tiling still needing to be completed before the plumbing, electrical work etc).

    Failing to perform the work in a reasonable time-frame resulted in a loss of over 2 months worth of rent (with more rent to lose). The unit will not be available for rent until the defective work is fixed and the job completed.

    We're incurring additional cost for the cornice, loss of rent and tradesmen to fix our 'friend's' work.
    On top of that, our son needs the unit as of Jan 2016 so we will have to pay for his accommodation from Jan 2016 to Mar 2016 (we need to lease the unit for 12 months).

    In a nutshell, cost has been incurred for:

    - Removing/redoing/fixing 'friend's defective work.
    - Loss of rent.
    - Unnecessary cost for cornice.
    - Cost of future accommodation for our son.

    Any feedback would be appreciated thanks.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ann M,

    Is this "friend" who did the renovation a professional renovator or someone who runs a business in renovations? And was the "friend" working for you in their professional capacity? Further, was the work done after 1 January 2011? If so, you may be protected by Australian Consumer Law.

    Basically, under the ACL, which applies Australia wide, a service provider makes an implied guarantee to you that any services provided to you will be with due care and diligence and will be of proper standards and where there are problems with the work, they will repair it without penalty. This is a statutory guarantee that cannot be contracted out of. However, exceptions do apply and what exactly constitutes "proper standards" and "due care and diligence" will depend on the circumstances (e.g. their experience, cost of work, general standards in other businesses doing the same thing) so best to contact Consumer Affairs of Victoria for further information.

    Note: if you are disputing the full purchase price because of defective work, best to tell the "friend" first (preferably in writing). This way, they are kept in the loop and don't go ahead and sell your debt to a debt collector.
     
    Ann M likes this.
  3. Ann M

    Ann M Active Member

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    Thank you Sarah J. The 'friend' was working in a professional capacity in that we were to pay him. He is paid to do the odd renovating job. He was certified to do membraning so I don't understand why he neglected to silicon the corners. Thank you for your advice re putting our dispute in writing to protect us from a debt collector. I don't know if he declares his earnings to Centrelink for renovations or not (he is on a pension at 57 yo) but if he doesn't, it may dissuade him from approaching a debt collector. In the meantime, we will put out dispute in writing and email it to him, requesting a read receipt. Thanks again.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome Ann. Hope the dispute is settled before escalating further (to court) and you recover costs from the friend.
     

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