Welcome to the Michael Atkinson & Associates website.

Our firm's goal is to provide the highest quality legal services to you and your business in an efficient and timely fashion

Choose Michael Atkinson when you need to find a lawyer in Penrith

We welcome the opportunity to answer your queries and discuss how we may be of service to you.

Contact us on Freecall

1800 013 628

or email us on email@michaelatkinson.com.au

We are located at:

Suite 19, 1st Floor The Broadwalk, 458-470 High Street Penrith NSW 2750

Michael Atkinson & Associates can represent you when you need to find a Building Disputes lawyer in Penrith

When the structural integrity of your home or investment is at stake, knowing who to turn to in a building dispute is vital.

We understand building law and can build a case to bring the best possible outcome.


How can Michael Atkinson assist me with my building problem?

At Michael Atkinson & Associates we can assist you with:

  • Bringing or defending claims by homeowners in the CTTT, NCAT or other Courts;
  • Bringing or defending claims by Builders in the CTTT, NCAT or other Courts;
  • Undertaking Home Warranty Insurance appeals in the CTTT, NCAT or other Courts;
  • Advising on and negotiating building contracts;
  • Assisting you in relation to Security of Payment Act claims.

Contact Michael Atkinson to discuss your building issue or problem.

What do I do if the Home Warranty Insurer denies my Home Warranty Insurance claim?

If the Home Warranty Insurer either denies your claim or you are not happy with the amount of the claim they approve, you can bring an insurance appeal either to the CTTT, NCAT or to the Court.  You have 45 days after notification of the Insurer’s determination in which to bring such an appeal.

What does Home Warranty Insurance Cover provide?

A claim may be able to be made for loss or damage for:

  • breach of statutory warranty;
  • faulty design;
  • cost of alternative accommodation, removal and storage costs reasonably and necessarily incurred;
  • loss of deposit or progress payment;
  • materials and components used in kit home not suitable for purpose;
  • faulty design or non supply of a kit home;
  • non-completion of work due to early termination of the building contract (because of the Builder or Supplier’s failure or refusal to complete the work);
  • legal or other reasonable costs incurred in seeking to recover compensation from the Contractor or Supplier for the loss or damage or the taking of action to rectify the loss or damage.

How do I make a claim under my Home Warranty Insurance?

If your home was completed prior to 1 July 2002 and within a 7 year period of making a claim, the claim is made directly to the Home Warranty Insurer.  You should contact the Home Warranty Insurer who will provide you with a claim form.  The claim form is then completed and returned to the Insurer who will make a determination as to whether or not your claim was accepted or denied.  If your home was completed on or after 1 July 2002 then a claim must first be made against the Builder and if the homeowner cannot recover compensation or have any defects rectified due to the insolvency, death or disappearance of the Builder a claim can then be made to the Insurer.  Again a claim form must be completed and the Insurer will make a determination as to whether or not they will accept or deny the claim.  You should ensure that appropriate notice is given to your Insurer of the claim against the Builder within the periods specified in your Home Owners Warranty Insurance Policy.

What is Home Warranty Insurance?

Under the Home Building Act the New South Wales Government has set up a system of Home Warranty Insurance relating to residential building claims.  The insurance is required for any residential building work where the work requires a building licence and is now valued at over $20,000.  It must be obtained by the Builder and a certificate given to the homeowner prior to taking any money on the contract and prior to commencing the work.

Are there any time limits for bringing a claim to the CTTT and Courts?

Various time limits apply both in relation to claims to the CTTT, NCAT and to the Courts.  The major time limits that currently apply are as follows:
(a)       a 3 year limit for claims for building services supplied or not supplied;
(b)       a 6 year limit for claims for breaches of statutory warranty under the construction or building contract for structural defects and 2 years for non-structural defects.

What do I do if there is a dispute over a residential building?

In New South Wales residential building disputes are covered by the Home Building Act 1989 and its accompanying regulations.  There are dispute resolution procedures undertaken by the Office of Fair Trading but if no resolution is reached then a building claim can be lodged with the CTTT or the NCAT.  Claims over $500,000 can be lodged with either the District Court or the Supreme Court depending on the amount of the claim.  A building claim can be lodged by either the Owner or Builder where defective work is involved or where money is owing pursuant to the building contract.

Are there any time limits to make a Security of Payments Claim?

The Act provides a very strict time regime for the making of payments claims and serving of payment schedules as well as bringing adjudication applications.  If you have any issue relating to the Security of Payments Act the you should contact Michael Atkinson to discuss your particular problem.

What is a Payment Claim?

A payment claim must:
(a)       identify the construction work or related goods or services;
(b)       indicate the claimed amount; and
(c)       state the claim is made under the Act;

What is a Payment Schedule?

A payment schedule is the Builder or Principal’s response to a payment claim and is to set out whether the party who has received the payment claim either admits or denies liability for that claim.  A payment schedule must:
(a)        relate to specifically to the payment claim;
(b)        identify the amount which will be paid; and
(c)        if less than the amount claimed, identify the reasons for choosing to pay the total amount.

What is the Security of Payment Act and how does it affect me?

The Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act affects every contract entered into between a Contractor and Commercial Client, Sub-Contractor or Supplier.  It does not apply to residential building work.  The purpose of the Act is to provide a Sub-Contractor with a quick means of enforcing progress payments.  If you are Sub-Contractor or Supplier then a payment claim can be made and a strict payment regime and adjudication regime is set out to enable either quick payment or adjudication resolution.  There are 5 basic steps to the Act, namely:
(a)        a payment claim is made by a Sub-Contractor or Supplier of goods and services;
(b)        a payment schedule is provided by the Builder or Principal in response to a payment claim;
(c)        an application for adjudication;
(d)        a determination by an Adjudicator; and
(e)        an option to obtain judgment from Court if no payment schedule is provided.