Marino Law | Gold Coast Law Firm

Recent amendments to building cladding laws in Queensland

On 1 October 2018, the Government passed the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld) (the ‘Regulation’). In effect, the Regulation compels certain classes of building owners to undertake a three-phase process intended to identify and assess the fire safety risks associated with their building and its exterior components (ie cladding).

Which buildings need to be registered?

An affected private building is one which has combustible cladding forming part of, or attached or applied to, an external wall or another external part of the building other than the roof.

The Regulation places a responsibility on private owners of buildings that:

  1. Are a class 2 – 9 and are of a type A or type B construction (essentially most residential and commercial buildings, excluding houses and other low-rise dwellings); and
  2. Have been built or have had the cladding altered after 1 January 1994, but before 1 October 2018 regardless of any recognised certificate held by the building owner (i.e. certificate of conformity).

Interstate and overseas building owners

 An owner of a building in Queensland that lives interstate or overseas is not exempt from their obligation to comply with the Regulation. An agent can be approached to act on the owner’s behalf to complete the process.

Authorised agents

Authorised agents, such as body corporate representatives or property managers may need to comply with the Regulation if they manage a private building that comprises of 2 or more lots.

How to comply: 

Phase 1 (to be completed by 29 March 2019): register your name and building address via the Safer Buildings website at: www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au and complete part 1 of the ‘combustible cladding checklist’ (questions 1 to 4) before submission online with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (‘QBCC’).

Note, completion of part 1 will assist the owner to identify whether the building is privately owned, approximate size, materials used in the exterior construction, the building’s class and type, effectively ascertaining whether further action is required.

Phase 2 (to be completed by 29 May 2019): building owners are required to engage a building industry professional in order to prepare a building industry professional statement as to whether the material used in construction could potentially be combustible. Owners must submit the statement online with the QBCC and complete part 2 of the ‘combustible cladding checklist’ (questions 5 to 6).

Note, if an owner is aware of or suspects their building has combustible cladding and has given the QBCC notice, they may skip phase 2.

Phase 3(a) (to be completed by 27 August 2019): building owners are required to engage a fire engineer in order to prepare a building fire safety risk assessment and fire engineer statement. This will identify the type of cladding and insulation and whether existing fire safety measures need to be updated. The owner must enter the name and registration number of the fire engineer engaged online with the QBCC by the prescribed date.

Phase 3(b) (to be completed by 3 May 2021): once the building owner has received the above fire safety risk assessment and fire engineer statement they must, by the prescribed date, complete the ‘combustible cladding checklist’ (questions 7 to 10) and submit the relevant documents online. This final assessment will determine whether the building is affected and requires further rectification.

Note, the compliance periods may be extended upon approval from the QBCC. Further, all documentation for Phases 1 – 3 is required to be kept for at least seven (7) years after lodgement with the QBCC.

Affected private buildings:

If the building is deemed to be affected, building owners will be obligated to:

  1. Display an ‘affected private building notice’ in a conspicuous position and ensure it is securely fixed near the main point of entry and near the fire indicator panel if applicable; and
  2. Display the notice within sixty (60) business days after the building fire safety risk assessment is received until a time that the combustible cladding is removed or a private certifier gives the owner a notice of compliance with the Building Codes of Australia.

Sale of a building during the process

Up until the completion of sale, the building owner is responsible to register documents with the QBCC. If the ownership of a private building changes, the original owner must provide the incoming owner with a notice detailing their compliance with the Regulation, in addition to a copy of each document submitted up until the change of ownership. A further notice is required to be given to the QBCC.

Where the building is part of a community titles scheme, owners may need to consider disclosing the existence of combustible cladding to a prospective buyer in efforts to avoid a claim for breach of warranty or possible termination of contract under section 223 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (Qld). 

How can Marino Law help?

Marino law offers expert advice in relation to property matters, including advice with respect to the acquisition and disposal of both residential and commercial property. The firm has a rich history acting for both large and small scale developers, individuals, corporate and trust purchasers and various others. With the combined experience of our property lawyers and conveyancing department we can assist you by providing comprehensive advice in an efficient and practical, yet innovative manner that will be easy to understand.

Whether you are a developer, an industry professional or a purchaser, Marino Law can advise you as to how these new changes may affect you. Please contacts us today to organise an initial consultation with one of our experienced property lawyers.

 

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