Home building

NCAT can hear and decide an issue or dispute about residential building work in NSW.

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

Orders NCAT can make

NCAT can make orders in home building cases including:

  • Payment for home building work or services
  • Incomplete or defective home building work
  • Supply of specialised work (electrical, plumbing, gasfitting, air conditioning etc)
  • Damage caused to other structures by home building work
  • Insurance claim appeals.

For more information about the orders NCAT can make, refer to the Home Building Act 1989.

Check if your matter is affected by federal jurisdiction.

How to apply

You can apply online. Learn how we handle your confidentiality and privacy.

What do I need to do before completing this application?

NSW Fair Trading Investigation

Before NCAT can accept your application, all home building disputes must first be referred to NSW Fair Trading. Lodge your home building complaint online or call Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

You must attach evidence of the NSW Fair Trading investigation unless your matter is exempt. 

Exempt matters include:

  • Appeal against a decision of an insurer under a contract of insurance required to be entered into under the Act
  •  Recovery of a debt by a contractor
  •  A cross-claim to an existing NCAT matter
  •  Where the time for lodging a claim is due to expire within 3 months
  •  Claims involving unlicensed contractors
  • Claims by a trader against a subcontractor regarding defective work
  • Claims involving companies that have been de-registered
  • Claims against companies or individuals who have gone into administration liquidation or bankruptcy.

Gather your evidence

Relevant information includes:

  • Correspondence or rectification order issued by NSW Fair Trading
  • Building contract or agreement
  • Certificate of insurance
  • Building reports
  • Contractor’s licence details
  • Witness statements or affidavits.

Correctly identify the other party

To make a claim against a person, business or company, you need to use their correct name or legal entity. You also need the correct address for service. 

If the other party is a business or company, search ASIC's Registers and attach the search to your application.

NCAT may ask you for more information to ensure the other party's details are correct. Not providing correct details can cause delays or the making of unenforceable orders.

Need more information?

Application fee

View our current application fees and charges.

Concession card holders are eligible for a reduced fee. Have your concession card with you when you lodge the application to claim the reduced fee. 

Time limits

Time limits vary depending on the type of orders you are asking for. Please refer to the Home Building Act 1989.

What happens next

Home building matters are first listed for conciliation and hearing. Check the notice of hearing from NCAT and follow the instructions provided. If your case is not resolved at the first hearing it may be listed for a contested hearing on a later date.

Read the hearing preparation checklist to prepare for your hearing. 

Can someone represent me?

Most people represent themselves at NCAT. You can conduct your own case without a lawyer or other representative. If you want to be represented you can find out more about representation at NCAT.

Organisations that can help

NCAT cannot provide legal advice. For more information, go to Get legal help and advice for organisations that provide free or low-cost legal advice and information. Find out how we can and cannot assist.

Last updated:

19 Nov 2023

Was this content useful?
We will use your rating to help improve the site.
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Top Return to top of page Top