1. Before you apply to QCAT
Parties must participate in a dispute resolution process with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) before making a building dispute application to QCAT.
A letter from the QBCC advising of the outcome of this process or advising no process is required to attempt to resolve the particular dispute, must be provided to QCAT when applying. Failure to provide a letter from QBCC about the dispute resolution process for your case at the time of filing your application for a building dispute may result in QCAT refusing your application at the time of lodgement or dismissing your application.
2. What else do I need to do to make a domestic building dispute application
If you seek defective work to be fixed or seek completion of incomplete work, you must complete the alleged defective or incomplete work schedule and attach it to the application when you lodge and give the application to the respondent. The form is contained below for you to complete and submit with your building dispute application.
You also must ensure you attach copies of any relevant documentation when you submit your application. This may include:
- copies of the relevant building contract if one was made between the parties
- if claiming an amount for unliquidated damages, you must include the basis of your calculations for the unliquidated damages
- if you have invoices or reports in relation to the dispute, please ensure you submit these with your application.
Do not worry if you need to collect further evidence. QCAT gives the parties appropriate time to collect further evidence to support their case at a later stage in the process.
3. If your application is urgent
If you believe your application is urgent and wish to have an order made before the final hearing, you can apply to QCAT for an ‘interim order’.
An interim order is an order made in a proceeding before the final decision is made. It may protect a party’s position while the proceeding is running or provide for something to be done to make sure that any final QCAT decision can be effective.
You must ensure you clearly set out in your application why an interim order should be granted with supporting evidence. The relevant interim order application form is attached below for you to use.
If you decide to make an interim application, you must ensure a copy of the interim application is provided to the other parties.
4. Complete and lodge this form
To make an application for domestic building dispute, complete and lodge the appropriate application form from the list below. Carefully read the form instructions, answer each question and tick an appropriate box when prompted.
You must pay the appropriate fee – (Credit card authorisation form for mail payments)
Form 26 - Application for domestic building dispute
Form to be completed relating to an application for domestic building disputes – Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.
Alleged defective work/incomplete work schedule
Form to be completed relating to alleged defective work/incomplete work schedule (for use in relation to domestic and commercial building disputes under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991).
Form 41 - Application for interim order
The purpose of this form is to an make an application for interim order.
5. How to lodge your application
When filing an application for domestic building dispute, you are required to file the application and supporting material along with three copies in one of the following ways:
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
or at any local Magistrates Court
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Your application is not filed until it is sealed by QCAT (i.e. stamped with the official QCAT stamp). After this is done, sealed copies of your application are sent back to you to give to the other party. You can also keep a copy for your personal records.
6. Giving your application to the other parties
You are required to give a copy of your application and supporting material to the other parties named in the application within seven days of receiving a sealed copy of the application or as otherwise directed by QCAT.
Visit this page for further information on service requirements.
To prove you have given your application to the other parties, the applicant must complete the affidavit of service for each party and provide a copy to QCAT. You do not need to provide a copy to the other party.
Form 9 - Affidavit of service
The purpose of this form is to prove your application has been served on all other parties. This form must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace.
7. Decisions by default - if no response received from respondent
If the respondent does not file a response to your application or a counter application you may apply for a decision by default. A decision by default means QCAT will make a decision on your case from the paperwork received and in the absence of the respondent. You do not need to attend mediation or a hearing.
A decision by default application may be filed if the respondent does not file a response or a counter application to your application within 14 days of being served with the original building dispute application. Decisions by default may be for a debt or liquidated demand of money, or unliquidated damages.
If the respondent does not file a response within 14 days of being served with the application for a domestic building dispute, you can apply for a decision by default for a debt or liquidated demand of unliquidated damages. Unliquidated damages are defined as damages that do not refer to a specific or agreed amount.
You need to provide the basis of calculations for unliquidated damages. A claim for unliquidated damages is determined by QCAT, based on your evidence in support of the claim.
For more information refer to Practice Direction 2010/9 Directions for decisions by default - unliquidated damages. (PDF, 127.1 KB).
To apply for a decision by default – unliquidated damages please complete the following form:
Form 50 - Request for decision by default - unliquidated damages
The purpose of this form is to make a claim when unliquidated damages arise for a sum which cannot be determined without consideration, by the Tribunal, of the applicant’s evidence in support of the claim.
Debt or liquidated demand of money
If the respondent does not file a response within 14 days of being served with the application for a domestic building dispute, you can apply for a decision by default for a debt or liquidated demand of money. A liquidated demand of money generally means a fixed amount or an amount that may be ascertained by a calculation with reference to decided facts or data.
To apply for a decision by default – liquidated damages please complete the following forms:
Form 37 - Request for a decision by default in matters other than minor civil dispute
The purpose of this form is to request a decision by default in matters other than minor civil disputes.
Affidavit in support of a request for a decision by default
The purpose of this form is to complete an affidavit in support of a request for a decision by default. This form is used in conjunction with Form 37 Request for a decision by default in matters other than minor civil dispute
8. What happens next?
Find out what happens after you apply.