Overview of the Adjudication system under the Building Industry Fairness Act

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What is Adjudication?

Adjudication is a dispute resolution process to help resolve disagreements about progress payments and money owing. It’s a quick, cost-effective alternative to traditional courts. 

When parties are in dispute about an amount owing for construction work, a claimant (or the person owed the money) can lodge an adjudication application with the QBCC. 

Who can apply?

To be eligible for an adjudication application, firstly the dispute must be relating to construction work that’s been completed in Queensland. 

Secondly, a valid payment claim must be issued.

Exemptions do apply.

The main one being that disputes between builder and residential,  homeowners are not able to apply for adjudication.  Such disputes can be dealt with in either QCAT or the Magistrates Court. 

When does an application need to be filed? 

There are very strict time frames for adjudication applications. If you do not file within time, you lose your opportunity to file an adjudication application. So they must be adhered to. 

The due dates for an application are slightly complicated, as it depends on whether a payment schedule has been issued to you or not. 

If you are owed money but have NOT been issued a payment schedule, you must file an adjudication application within 20 business days of the due date for payment. 

However, if you have been a payment schedule, different time frames apply. 

If a payment schedule has been issued to you, but the party owing you the money has failed to pay the full amount, then the application is due within 20 business days after the due date for payment. 

However, if a payment schedule has been issued to you, and it is an amount less than the amount stated in the payment claim, then the adjudication application is due within 30 business days of receipt of the payment schedule. 

What’s the advantage of Adjudication? 

The main advantage of Adjudication is that it is very quick.

Once an Application has been filed, the Respondent then only has 10 business days to file a Response. 

The Adjudicators is then obliged to make a decision within 10 business days.

Once a decision has been issued, the Respondent must pay within 5 business days. 

If the Respondent does not pay, An Adjudication decision can then be enforced like any other court judgment. 

SummaryConstruction Lawyer Brisbane

So if you’ve completed construction work in Queensland and remain unpaid, adjudication applications may be worth considering as an alternative to the traditional court system. 

If you are a sub-contractor or supplier within the construction industry and want to learn more about Adjudication, contact me at any time to discuss further. 

Melissa Ban leads the team of specialists at Stephens & Tozer Solicitors in serving clients on both sides of Building and Construction including Adjudication. Contact Melissa Ban or any of the team at Stephens and Tozer Solicitors if you need assistance.

Category: Contractual Law / Property