Got the contract 2 days later than promised. It is a HIA standard contract and is written in the builder's favour. Then the Builder adds their own special conditions on top.
As an example of the bias, liquidated damages apply if the building duration exceeds the contract period. Sounds good but, the contract period does not commence until 4 weeks after the Construction Certificate is approved. Then, allowable extensions include all adverse weather and 5 weeks at Christmas. Then the Builder specifies a contract period that is close to a year. Therefore, the building process can take well over a year before the builder will compensate you for the rent and interest fees that you have been incurring, and continue to incur, over that 12 month period. By this stage you have already paid the Builder $5,000 non-refundable. What do you do, walk away?
Fowler's special conditions do not appear to be too bad.
I negotiated the contract period down, but not by much, and the liquidated damages rate up, but not by much. I also prepared a list of special conditions, of which about 70% were accepted.
We are now just waiting for the bank to complete a valuation and approve the loan before we sign the contract. More waiting! At least it's not the Builder this time.
I noticed that they have been getting beaten up pretty bad on productreview.com.au and that they have been posting responses. It is a worry that so many customers are not happy. I will be interested to see if the service improves as a result.