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HSBCA Lump Sum Building Contract

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by SaberX, 24th Aug, 2015.

  1. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Just reviewing my HIA building contracts passed through to me by my builder - just wondering as an individual reviewing the clauses and legal side myself, is there usually limited room to move with builders given I assume these contracts are always written to their advantage? Sure you could walk away but by now you've sunk your $2k deposit?

    I find some things obvious such as the fact that failure to obtain necessary permits (i.e. building permits and other items) under clause 21 or 22 results in a potential price rise potentially being passed on my builder to the owner for no more than 5% of the contract price (or else you can dispute). No such clause exists when it is the builder's identical fault of not obtaining the above.....

    Also, as part of the "The Schedule" at the start of the contract I note that they've nominated themselves as my Agent, which per the relevant clauses I follow through gives them the right to make authorised variations on behalf of the owner. Surely the builder (head company or subsidiary regardless) shouldn't have this power? And if so can you usually get away with nominating anyone else e.g. even your mother or father just for the sake of getting rid of the builders nomination on here.

    Has anyone got any good resources , advice, or prior somersoft reading material that might aid on things to look out for when reviewing the contractual documentation? I have a decent professional background to decipher these things (albeit not legal) so I am having a crack at it. Any help would be great.

    Cheers
     
  2. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

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    I've watched my partner try and do this. It's painful and the results scar for life.

    Don't. Do. It. Yourself.

    The standard HIA contract is, IMO, appallingly against the customer.
    If I were doing another house now, I'd pay an hour for experienced certifier in the room with my solicitor and cross out clauses, add clauses, and put in the right amounts to be properly covered. Then if the builder baulks, be glad that they're not the one for you!

    I'd love to add a clause like "if I ever ask for any payment before a stage completion that has been agreed to by the client and their certifier, then I will pay $1,000 for every $1.00 I've asked for within 7 days of asking."

    Personally, I'm willing to "have a crack" at something that's relatively cheap or doesn't have many consequences. My equivalent to your "having a crack at it" is standing in the running shower pulling live cables out of the wall while cutting them open to see if the green wire really does go all the way out to pole on the hill (without RCD) during the thunderstorm...

    "Have a crack" by reading through it carefully so *you* understand as much as possible, then go to some professionals.
     
  3. Jess Peletier

    Jess Peletier Mortgage Broker - Australia Wide Business Member

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    One of my clients recently spoke with Steve Boni in Fremantle, and was really happy he did. It cost about $500 or so, but was well worth it I'm told.
    He's a builder and a lawyer and still works in both. His firm is Western Legal, and is based on Adelaide St.
     
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  4. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation jess. I was actually going to ask you or anyone perth based for some good recommendations as you want a good property lawyer but you also need someone who knows their residential building codes and background.

    That said with large project builder i.e your celebrations homes, smart homes etc. Is doing all this a waste of time as don't these builders typically send out contacts and just ask for a signature target than negotiating on contract terms? Would think many other builders would be the same?

    Macarthur, i thought a certifier may only look at items concerning a basic nature of meeting occupancy requirements etc? Is a building inspector or another title more appropriate when trying to find a professional offering said service?
     
  5. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Yeah +1 for Steven Boni to check things like this. I know him personally from working together in Fremantle.
     
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  6. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    I can only find reference to a Stefano boni online. Does anyone have his mobile number so i can enquire re services and cost. Thanks
     
  7. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Well I think its the same guy actually, but I think his office is 9432 0200 from a quick google.
     
  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @SaberX - You haven't looked too hard - try the white pages:

    upload_2015-8-24_19-15-14.png
     
  9. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Sorry i meant a mobile. I did note the land line already but was hoping to reach privately out of hours
     
  10. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he (or most lawyers) would go for that?
     
  11. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Yeap fair enough.

    Ive enquired with some property lawyers..in meantime ive spoken to my sales consultant who has said it is a standard hia building contract and therefore there isnt an ability to change or vary the contract....

    Is this true if most large industry project builders i.e. celebrations, Ventura, smart homes, dale alcock, redink etc? Obviously no point paying lawyers to review if big project builders are inflexible amending their standard contracts. Besides walking away this late in piece any recourse for me?

    The main things i guess id be concerned with are a) varying clauses so milestone progress payments are subject to.your satisfaction with a building inspector... Otherwise when they ask for progress payment your stuck havinf ro pay it and b) any unfavourable penalty clauses or liquidated damages clauses that seem to be a sticky point per digging up old somersoft threads....


    Im dealing with a large project builder per above so wondering if i have no choice but to accept unless i want to walk... And whether majority sign every year and so to bite the bullet....
     
  12. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Well for this and all your other questions - they seem to be able to be answered by someone like Steve Boni for around $500.

    I don't know the answers really, but if it was me, and I really wanted to know, I'd certainly just pay the amount to get the answers and some peace of mind.

    What are you holding back for? A cheaper lawyer?
     
  13. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily a cheaper lawyer. I just wasnt sure they'd be of any use of builders don't budge... I've spoken to one that had been recommended a few times thru somersoft days ( Melissa at mdh legal who was an alternative to Steve) and the indication seems to be that builders don't usually amend the hcba lump size build contract admittedly. So if this is the case it would be wasting their time and mine and money trying to evaluate clauses. It will help explain /understand the legal clauses but that isn't my concern if it doesn't change what im legally bound by. Also unfortunately Steve isnt returning my voice mail /call...