HIA New House Contract Worth Getting Reviewed by Lawyer?

Hey All,

Just wanted to know how many people get there HIA building contracts reviewed by a building/construction lawyer before signing?

Some additional information:

  • been told that HIA contracts heavily favour the builder
  • build contract is fixed price, but some terms may indicate a price variation if the owner causes a breach
  • property is for an investment and is being built by a project builder
  • build is taking place in QLD
  • have reviewed builders QBCC licence and they a clean state
  • have been told that builders may not agree to any or all amendments even if I get the contract reviewed

Comments

  •  

    You may as well considering you're most likely need to do conveyancing.

  •  

    builders may not agree to any or all amendments

    Yes, it's not a negotiation.

    • +4 votes

      I disagree, contracts need to suit both parties, don’t just accept the status quo because the HIA sounds reputable, it’s not a nice contract for owners.

      OP, I would look at other contracts for comparison. Particularly the wording around variations and extensions of time. Before you spend money on a lawyer, get familiar with building contracts and how they differ. At the end of the day you need to understand your contractual rights in the language you understand.

      •  

        I didn't mean that the contract would be fine as it is, I just meant that the HIA member will not want to change it.

        • +3 votes

          The builder might not want to but if he wants the job and the amendments aren't unreasonable then it doesn't hurt to try. OP has the folding green and can walk away.

          I've made some big asks when buying houses and only been knocked back on a couple.

  • +2 votes

    Get it reviewed. Even if the builder won't agree to any changes, you should get a much clearer idea of who needs to do what and who can do what.

    Cost should also be tax deductible for an investment property.

  • +3 votes

    Built a house a few years ago and some things I would recommend checking in the contract;

    1. Delay costs, especially if you are renting somewhere else while building. The builders will usually put in some token amount like $100 per week if they run late, which goes nowhere near covering your actual costs. Our builder ran late by 12 weeks, which cost us about $7k in rent, but they were only up for $700.

    2. Check for any clauses on damage or repairs - our builder broke several slabs on the footpath, but the way the contract was set up, they were not liable and we ended up having to pay council for the repairs.

    3. Is there a fee for changes after contract? Our builder could charge us $350 each time just to give us a price, even if we didn't proceed.

    As you already know, the builders may not agree to any or all amendments, but you can at least ask.

  • +3 votes

    No, sign blindly and hope for the best.

  •  

    Just wanted to know how many people get there HIA building contracts reviewed by a building/construction lawyer before signing?

    This would be prudent.

    been told that HIA contracts heavily favour the builder

    Probably.

    build contract is fixed price, but some terms may indicate a price variation if the owner causes a breach

    That's usual.

    property is for an investment and is being built by a project builder

    OK.

    build is taking place in QLD

    Use a Queensland-based lawyer.

    have reviewed builders QBCC licence and they a clean state

    OK.

    have been told that builders may not agree to any or all amendments even if I get the contract reviewed

    As with any proposed amendments to any contract.