Building Defects

Building Defects Simplified

All new Strata buildings are covered by statutory warranties from the original builder and developer. Navigating the defect warranty period can be complex but it doesn’t have to be.

At Westside, we have a tried and tested methodology that achieves maximum co-operation from the original proprietors and in house expertise to offer industry-

leading strategies. Your Owners Corporation’s assets are in good hands.

Under NSW home building laws, these protections apply even if they have not been specifically implied in the building contract.

What is a building defect?

A defect must result from defective design, defective or faulty workmanship, defective materials or a failure to comply with the structural performance requirements of the National Building Code.

Examples of common major defects in residential buildings may include, but are not limited to:


If the defect is a major element of the building? a Fire Safety systems, Waterproofing, or something key to the building’s stability or structure; eg. foundations, footings, walls, roofs, beams or columns.


Will the defect cause or be likely to cause part or all of the building becoming uninhabitable or unable to be used for its intended purpose? Or, will the defect cause or be likely to cause the collapse or destruction of the building, or part of it?

Resolving building defects in a strata complex

The original proprietor is obligated to rectify Minor Defects for 2 years and Major Defects for 6 years from the date of occupation. The most common defects in new premises are water proofing, wall cracks, tiling and roof leaks. If you are unsure if an item in your premises is a defect, you may wish to check with the NSW Guide to Standards and Tolerances.

This guide has been developed for use by builders and building owners as a convenient reference for acceptable standards of workmanship in domestic building construction. It is intended to address areas that are not prescribed under legislation or under a domestic building contract. It should be understood that this is a guide only and that all other documents prescribing statutory and contractual requirements, relevant to the contract, take precedence over this
guide. For the most updated version, please check the NSW Fair Trading website.

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