New Cladding Laws Place Obligations on Queensland Private Building Owners
The Queensland Government recently passed the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld). The Regulation commences on 1 October 2018.
Who must comply?
The Regulation imposes obligations on private owners of buildings that:
- are class 2 to 9 buildings (essentially all residential and commercial buildings, other than houses and other low-rise residential use buildings);
- are of Type A or Type B construction; and
- were given development approval to build, or alter the cladding, after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018.
The body corporate is regarded as the owner of buildings comprising more than one lot.
What are the obligations?
The Regulation imposes a 3 stage process on owners of relevant buildings, aimed at identifying and assessing the risk of cladding products.
The process involves completing details and lodging documents on the online system at www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au
Stage 1 – by 29 March 2019
Stage 1 requires owners to register their buildings on the Safer Buildings website, and complete the online combustible cladding checklist (part 1). Completion of this stage will determine if further action is required.
Stage 2 – by 29 May 2019
Owners are required to engage a building industry professional, to prepare a building industry professional statement. Once received, owners must complete the online combustible cladding checklist (part 2) and upload the building industry professional statement onto the online system.
Owners of buildings who know or suspect their building has combustible cladding may skip stage 2, and engage a fire engineer to complete stage 3.
Stage 3 (Part A) – by 27 August 2019
Owners are required to engage a fire engineer to prepare a building fire safety risk assessment and fire engineer statement.
Owners must engage a fire engineer and register the fire engineer’s details in the online system by 27 August 2019.
Stage 3 (Part B) – by 3 May 2021
Once owners receive the building fire safety risk assessment and fire engineer statement, owners must, by 3 May 2021:
- complete the online combustible cladding checklist (part 3); and
- upload the building fire safety risk assessment and fire engineer statement onto the online system.
The fire engineer’s assessment will determine if rectification is necessary.
What if the Cladding is Non-Conforming?
If the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) determines that the cladding is non-conforming, owners will be required to:
- display a notice in a conspicuous position at the entrance to the building and near the fire indicator panel; and
- if the building comprises 2 or more lots, provide a copy of the fire safety risk assessment to all lot owners and tenants.
This must occur within 60 business days of receiving the fire safety risk assessment.
If the building is part of a community titles scheme, it may be necessary to disclose non-conforming cladding to prospective purchasers, pursuant to section 223 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (Qld), to avoid a claim for breach of warranty (or potentially termination of the contract).
What if the building is sold during the process?
If a building is sold at any time during the process, owners must provide:
- buyers with notice (in the approved form) about the status of compliance with the process;
- buyers with a copy of all relevant documents; and
- the QBCC with a copy of the notice provided to the buyer.
Following settlement, buyers will be responsible for complying with the Regulation.
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.