The recent amendments to the Home Building Act have now explicitly indicates that sub-contractors works are subject to the statutory warranties. The Act states that the subcontractor is subject to the following:
(a) a warranty that the work will be done with due care and skill and in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract,
(b) a warranty that all materials supplied by the holder or person will be good and suitable for the purpose for which they are used and that, unless otherwise stated in the contract, those materials will be new,
(c) a warranty that the work will be done in accordance with, and will comply with, this or any other law,
(d) a warranty that the work will be done with due diligence and within the time stipulated in the contract, or if no time is stipulated, within a reasonable time,
(e) a warranty that, if the work consists of the construction of a dwelling, the making of alterations or additions to a dwelling or the repairing, renovation, decoration or protective treatment of a dwelling, the work will result, to the extent of the work conducted, in a dwelling that is reasonably fit for occupation as a dwelling,
(f) a warranty that the work and any materials used in doing the work will be reasonably fit for the specified purpose or result, if the person for whom the work is done expressly makes known to the [contractor or builder]…the particular purpose for which the work is required or the result that the owner desires the work to achieve, so as to show that the owner relies on the holder’s or person’s skill and judgment. (Home Building Act 1989 s 18B(1))
Although the head contractors will still remain liable to home owners and subsequent purchasers for the statutory warranties for all the work, the legislation has allowed for principal contractors to pursue subcontractors for work that breaches the abovementioned warranties.
In summary then, the warranties that are applicable to subcontractors are the same as those applicable to the Principal Contractor.
If you require any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the team of lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry.