With more than $5 million spent in early 2020 and another $15 million allocated in Parliament’s 2021-22 Victorian Courts budget, the digital transformation of Victoria’s Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) services to keep the courts moving during COVID has proven a welcome move. But, with an average of 50-60 building dispute cases scheduled a day, it’s also highlighted the vital importance of excellent court-ready reporting documents in securing the best possible outcomes for plaintiffs. Especially when expert VCAT members hearing building dispute cases are retiring and are seemingly not being replaced.
According to John Coghlan, Director of Buildspect, one of the country’s leading building inspection and consultancy firms, disputes are on the rise due to the increasing pressures of building speed and profit margin expectations, contractor outsourcing, a lack of skilled workers, and project negligence.
“To get a real understanding of the pressures facing the sector, it’s worthwhile being a member of the Building Dispute Practitioners’ Society Incorporated (BDPS), Mr Coghlan said. “Formed in 1979, its members include arbitrators, architects, barristers, builders, building consultants, engineers, quantity surveyors, solicitors, and others with a direct or indirect interest in the resolution of disputes within the building, construction, and engineering industries. BDPS regularly holds seminars and meetings featuring eminent speakers on topics of interest to members. It also publishes BDPS News, a four-monthly update featuring articles, notes on legal decisions, and other items relevant to change in the building, construction, and engineering industries. Up-to-date notes on recent legal cases, often unreported elsewhere, are of invaluable assistance to members,” Mr Coghlan said.
Commenting on Buildspect’s expertise in providing court ready documentation for judicial proceedings, Daniel Oldham, Director of Oldham Construction Lawyers describes the company as their preferred partner for best practice reporting.
“Buildspect has more than half a century’s experience in building and construction reporting. As a litigator in the sector, our firm knows it can rely on Buildspect to deliver clear, comprehensive, accurate, and timely reports.
“Indeed, with the volume of cases being escalated through the Tribunal, Buildspect’s expertise and reliability is key. If they say they can get something done on time, it will be. If they’re under the pump and not 100% sure they can meet the necessary deadlines, they won’t accept the case. So, we really appreciate the company’s professionalism and transparency. They’re good people and I trust them.”
According to John Coghlan, Buildspect’s focus is to bring independence and impartiality to the table when addressing building dispute matters, and to represent clients as necessary during hearings.
“Our only interest is to ensure that your building is safely repaired or completed at a quality and price point you’re expecting, with no hidden surprises. We find that our involvement eliminates most building disputes and helps to ensure projects are completed to everyone’s satisfaction. It’s vitally important because Australian Consumer Protection laws don’t extend to property purchases, making things very confusing for buyers who’ve had the misfortune of acquiring substandard properties. Which is why expert defect and incomplete work inspection statements and court ready reports are key in ensuring the best results for claimants. Especially now that VCAT cases are being heard remotely and documents are collated in online files for review and consideration.”
With more than 50 years’ experience as one of Australia’s leading building inspection, reporting, and consulting firms, Buildspect’s well-qualified and experienced team complete detailed investigations to provide a comprehensive, timely, honest, and accurate appraisal of each specific situation. Including preparing professional reports for residential, industrial, commercial and body corporate building matters to ensure compliance and readiness for any legal review or dispute. Founded by building industry identity John Coghlan in 1965, this 2nd generation family business is now led by his sons Andrew and John Coghlan. It is the only dedicated building inspection consultancy firm in Victoria that helps homeowners, builders, investors, owners’ corporations and managers, and lawyers.
For further information on building dispute inspections and reporting, please call John Coghlan on Tel: 03 8877 7525