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How you're protected

Your builder or tradesperson must obtain a certificate of home building compensation (HBC) cover for home renovations and new homes, including multi-unit dwellings of three storeys or less. They need to obtain a certificate of cover before starting the work or requesting payment from you.

A minimum of $340,000 in combined HBC cover is available for non-completion and defects within the statutory warranty period. That is six years for major defective work and two years for other losses. The time starts from when the work was completed.

You can make a HBC claim if your builder or tradesperson cannot fix or complete the work because they have died, disappeared, become insolvent, or had their licence suspended for failing to comply with a court or tribunal order to compensate a home owner.

In those circumstances, you will have cover for:

  • loss resulting from incomplete work because of early termination of the contract (conditions apply)
  • loss resulting from a breach of statutory warranty, such as:
    • if the work is not done with due care and skill
    • as per the plans and specifications set out in the contract
    • the materials used are not suitable
    • the work does not comply with the law
    • the work is not done within the time stipulated in the contract
    • within a reasonable time if the contract does not stipulate a time
  • loss resulting from faulty design provided by the builder
  • reasonable costs of alternative accommodation, removal and storage
  • loss of deposits or progress payments (conditions apply)
  • legal or other reasonable costs incurred in seeking to recover compensation
  • reasonable costs incurred in taking action to rectify the loss or damage
  • loss resulting from the work done by the subcontractors of the builder
  • loss resulting from the work done by the builder to rectify the problem after completion of the work.

Your HBC checklist 

Do you currently have HBC cover for your property? Find out using the HBC Check.

Will the residential home building work or renovation project cost over $20,000 including GST? If so, you’ll need to obtain proof of HBC cover from your builder or tradesperson before they start or request payment for the work.

Know the cost of your cover 

From 1 July2018, your builder or tradesperson must disclose the cost of the HBC cover in their contract with you.

The HBC premium or contribution is based on number of factors including the category of work, builder risk and location.