Home building

NCAT can resolve disputes about residential building work in NSW under the Home Building Act 1989.

Home building cases are managed through NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division.

‘Home building’ refers to any residential building work done by a building contractor or tradesperson. This includes building a new home or extension, installing a swimming pool or renovating a bathroom or kitchen.

Before you apply to NCAT

All home building disputes must be referred to NSW Fair Trading before an application can be accepted by NCAT.  Lodge your home building complaint online or call 13 32 20.

How to apply

You can apply online for a home building application.

Download and complete an application form. Lodge your application at any NCAT Registry or Service NSW service centre.

Attach a copy of the letter from NSW Fair Trading and any rectification orders issued with your application.


Fees are payable for home building applications. View our fees and charges.

Attach a company or business name extract

If you are making an application about a business or company, please attach a recent ASIC company or business name extract with your application.

Time limits

Time limits apply to certain home building applications.

Breach of statutory warranties

You must apply to NCAT within 6 years for major defects, or 2 years for other breaches.

Supply of building goods or services

You must apply to NCAT within 3 years from the date of the last supply (or when supply was required) or from the date of the contract.

Appeals about insurance claims

You apply to NCAT within 10 years from completion of the work. Generally appeals must be lodged within 45 days of written notification by the insurer that the claim has been rejected.

What happens next

Home building matters are generally first listed for a directions hearing. Check the notice of hearing from NCAT and follow the instructions provided.

Read the hearing preparation checklist to prepare for your hearing. 

Scott Schedules

A Scott Schedule is a form which allows parties to itemise defective and incomplete works which are the subject of a home building dispute. They are generally used in complex home building matters and/or where there are a number of defects.

If a Scott Schedule is required, instructions about its use will be given by the Tribunal Member at hearing.  Scott Schedule forms can be accessed from the Forms page in PDF or Word format.

Orders NCAT can make

Common home building dispute orders that NCAT can make includes:

  • home owner's non-payment for building work
  • building work not carried out as agreed in the contract
  • incomplete or defective home building work
  • insurance claims.

Claims for the rectification of defective work

Under the Home Building Act 1989, NCAT is to have regard to the principle that rectification of defective work by the responsible party is the preferred outcome (s48MA). NCAT may make an order even if it is not the order that the applicant asked for (s48O).

NSW Fair Trading will receive a copy of the orders

NCAT is required to provide NSW Fair Trading with a copy of all orders made against a builder or licensed tradesperson. Learn more about Enforcing home building orders.


The following legislation applies to home building disputes.

Organisations that can help

NCAT cannot provide legal advice. Find out how we can and cannot assist. Below are some organisations that can provide help or advice about your case.

Last updated:

08 Sep 2022

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