QLD Roof Paint Peeling - Pay Contractor for Rework?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


8 September 2014
We had our roof painted four years ago (September 2010). The contractor provided a ten-year guarantee. The paint is now coming off in patches. The contractor has inspected and says he will get the paint free from the manufacturer but says that we need to pay labour for the rework. The guarantee does not specifically mention that labour is not included and states that the guarantee covers 'that the colour top coat will not peel or flake over the guarantee period, that the product will not peel off the roof surface during the guarantee period, that the guarantee shall be deemed in effect over the ten year period if the aftercare instructions are carried out' The aftercare is basically hosing down every 12 to 18 months.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, does he have the right to charge for labour?


Dear Consumer,

It sounds as though your painting contractor has sought to pass on the product warranty of the manufacturer, but has failed to particularise specifically what the warranty relates to. It sounds as though he has simply advertised as his own warranty, what the manufacturer guarantees about the product. Whether or not labour costs can be charged by him, will depend on the precise wording of the contract and whether it is framed as a product warranty or a service and product warranty. I.e. Whether the contract speaks about the warranty as pertaining to the product - the paint - or to the entire service.

If you want to take this further under Australian consumer laws, be aware that since the services were provided in 2010, they will come under the old laws which will be the Trade Practices Act and Fair Trading Act in Qld. Under these laws a contract is required to carry out their service with due care and skill and must use products that are fit for the purpose for which they are supplied. These obligations don't appear to be in issue here as the product is already under warranty. I have insufficient information to say whether the painter's services lacked due skill and care, however if for example you found that he didn't use the correct order of coats, failed to remove what was underneath, or chose a paint that was inappropriate for the project etc and this was the reason for the paint peeling, as opposed to the product itself, then you may have recourse under these laws.

Here is a link to a brochure about it: http://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Warranties and refunds - a guide for consumers and business.pdf