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Buying into an existing complex

If you’re buying into an existing complex, there are two basic types of buildings under the Scheme: multi-storey buildings and residential flat buildings. Each type is treated differently when it comes to insurance.

Multi-storey buildings

Generally, these are buildings that are four storeys or higher and contain at least two separate dwellings. They are often high-rise apartments.

If you’re buying into one of these complexes you are not covered under the Home Building Compensation Fund.

This means a developer who enters into a contract for sale with you is not required to attach a certificate of insurance to the sale of contract.

Residential flat buildings

These are sometimes also called 'multi-unit buildings'. They are buildings that are three stories or less and contain at least two separate dwellings. They are often units, town houses, terraces or other low rise projects.

If you’re buying a property in one of these existing complexes, you’re covered for six years (after completion) for major defective work and two years for all other losses.

The builder or tradesperson carrying out residential building work must take out Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF) insurance (assuming the work is valued at over $20,000), before they start building.

If you suffer a financial loss because a builder or tradesperson fails to start or complete the building work, or fails to fix defective work, you are able to make a claim under a contract for HBC insurance if they've:

  • become insolvent
  • died or disappeared
  • had their licence suspended because they did not pay you compensation that had been ordered by a tribunal or court (only if your policy was issued on or after 19 May 2009).

If the property you’re buying from the developer is less than six years old, make sure the certificate of insurance is attached to the contract of sale. This is your proof that insurance has been taken out.

You can check the certificate is valid by using the certificates register.

Further information section

What you can claim for

All insurance policies issued from 1 February 2012 provide a cover of $340,000. See current scheme and cover for more information.

Making a claim

Visit our making a claim page for more information on the full claims process.