Dispute with The Builder - New House Problem

Hi all,

Hoping to get some info regarding a problem I am having with my builder.

I moved into my new house in November 2015. Last week we realised a water leak underneath kitchen sink. The builder is refusing to fix the leak and says we would have to get it fixed. Upon checking fair trading website it says builders are legally laible to fix any defects for upto 2 years (excl wear and tear which I dont believe is the case here). My argument is that defects in a property that is approx 10 months old should be fixed by the builder as it is fairly clear that the builder didnt do the job right in the first place. If we had this problem 3-4 years later then fair enough I should fix it, but not with a 10 month old house.

Can someone share their experience if they were in a similar situation. As I am a first home owner I am not sure as to how to approach this issue. Should I lodge a formal complaint with Fair Trading?

Thanks guys.


  • talk to the builder

    say you've checked the fair trading relevant to your state and it says "…" then tell them to fix it

    if they refuse, put the request in writing

    if they refuse that written request, then escalate it

  • Bikies ?

  • Do you know where the leak is coming from? Checked all the fittings? Youtube'd "fix leak under sink"

    I agree it's the builders problem but rather than going through the stress of chasing them up and having to be home when they come to fix it etc, it's most likely a 5-10 minute fix. Teach yourself how to do a very basic repair and you will save yourself a lot of stress now and in the future. Plus it's a good skill to have.

  • Have you actually tried looking for the source of the leak? One common area is the large collar that connects the drain to the kitchen sink, since there's a little vibration when you're washing dishes that can wriggle it loose. Check all the waste pipe connections and if one's loose, hand tighten it and problem solved. Had the same problem with our new house.

    In my experience (and we built with a large builder 6 years ago) once they have your final cheque they don't want to hear from you anymore. Had all kinds of issues that only became apparent after 6 months.

  • I had a problem where the dishwasher pipe didn't seal 100% into the sink drain, meaning a small leak appeared only every now and again. A $3 pipe clamp from bunnings solved it for me.

    If it's anything more than that, then certainly the builder should at least investigate and fix if it is their responsibility.

  • Thanks for the help guys. Appreciate the comments. I ll try and have a lookat it tonight to see if i can fix it. Otherwise will get in touch with the builder. Cheers.