Ownership And Control Of A New Home Construction Site
You have purchased a block of land where your dream home will be located, prepared your house plans and have chosen the right builders and contractors for the job. Now you’re at the beginning of the construction stage. You’re very eager to see how the build is going and what stage the construction is at. You may even believe you can walk onto the site because it’s your land. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
When building your dream home, it’s important to know that your builder has exclusive possession and control of the construction site. This means that you cannot walk onto the property unless there is an agreed upon time between yourself and your builder.
Under clause 25 of the Housing Industry Association (HIA) standard new homes contract, it states: (b) the owner or lending authority (or agent) is entitled to enter the site with reasonable notice for an inspection at any reasonable time provided the inspection does not delay or interfere with the building work.
There are several important reasons why this is implemented in contracts between builders and new owners, this includes:
• Your builder is responsible for the safety of all workers and visitors at the site. This obligation also applies outside of working hours. For safety reasons, regulations are implemented to restrict access to your home’s construction site. Uncontrolled hazards are a huge risk at any construction site, so safety inductions are mandatory and only those who obtain a construction induction card are allowed unsupervised access. It ultimately boils down to occupational health and safety restrictions, in which the builder in charge is liable if they do not correctly follow the safety guidelines.
• Your builder is also accountable for the security of the site. Therefore, access must be controlled to manage the risk of damage and theft to the property. The builder is liable for any breaches of security if they do not implement the correct procedures. This can result outcomes such as fines.
• Building works need to be carried out efficiently without any obstruction by the owner or any other party.
What happens if I enter the site unsupervised?
If you get caught unsupervised (or worse, get injured) without necessary authorization on site, the builder could easily receive a huge fine. If you enter a building site without permission from the builder, they have a right to remove you.
How does SPI Property Inspections gain access?
When you engage SPI to oversee the critical new home construction stages, we need to seek permission from your Site Supervisor before entering the site. Your Inspector will contact the Site Supervisor to arrange an appropriate time to conduct the inspection. During this visit, your Inspector will comply with the builder’s health and safety requirements whilst on the premises.
We understand that these regulations may seem unfair to some owners. However, they are crucial to allow your builder to undertake the building work in a safe and secure manner. If you have any queries on your legal responsibilities as an owner, we suggest you contact HIA on 1902 973 555.
For further information on the new home construction process, please have a read of our article titled ‘New Home Inspections: Put Yourself In The Frame.’ Contact SPI Property Inspections on 1300 721 032 or receive a free quote online now for new house building inspections in Melbourne.